Lazy drunken clams

I live in the city of mussels, seriously, it’s not for nothing they came up with the expression “mussels from Brussels”. If you come to visit, you’ll find this prominent dish pretty much everywhere. Every brasserie boasts the best “moules frittes” in town…that’s mussels & fries, by the way. Don’t ask, just go with it. But as much as I love mussels, I do prefer the more subtle clams and their delicate flavor. I rediscovered them at a Portuguese restaurant in a stew of pork, potatoes and clams and since then I’ve been yearning and thinking about cooking them at home. I decided to start with a classic: clams in white wine and garlic, simple and beautiful. This is a dish made to impress and I love that I can end up with something on the fancy side in only 20 minutes- sipping my mandatory glass of wine (cigarette in hand) included. It’s a dish that screams for your best tableware, crystal glasses and white, beautiful linens. Not ashamed to admit, my bourgeois alter-ego does come out once in a while.
Go pay a visit to your fishmonger, chill the wine and relax (by this I mean start cooking).

What you need

800 grams clams
2 spoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 knob butter
1 cup white wine
Few springs of flat parsley

How to make garlic clams in wine

Start by scrubbing and washing the clams. Then, finely chop the onion and four garlic cloves. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and slowly fry the onion and garlic until soft and golden. Add the butter and the wine and bring to a boil, then dump in the clams mixing well. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, till the clams are open. We were lucky and we had 100% opened clams- if that’s not the case, just discard the stubborn ones. Chop the parsley and the remaining garlic clove and add them to the pan, stirring well. I prefer a stronger garlic flavor, but if you don’t, just increase the heat and keep on the stove for another minute or so. Manilla clams
We ate this with simple pasta with just a dash of olive oil. We also had good, crusty bread that we dunk in the clam sauce and chilled white wine to wash it off. And that’s all one needs for a perfect, lazy week-end afternoon!

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