I've been thinking about clams since Wednesday when I bought my live dungeness crabs. So, today I returned to purchase live clams making a stop at the Broadway farmers market along the way where I found some beautiful leeks. I've been debating in my mind between clams with black bean sauce, grilled clams with garlic butter, or clams in a brothy sauce with a large hunk of good bread. And really up until cooking time, I was still wishing I could have all three. But I compromised and decided to combine the ingredients of the last two choices and the black bean sauce will have to be another time.
Once again, I went digging in the garden for a few new potatoes. I diced them into cubes and blanched them until just tender.
I thinly sliced the leeks and chopped up some fresh garlic I had been aging from a previous market purchase.
Rinse the clams in cold running water. Do not soak them.
When I've made clams in the past, I always try to skimp on the butter. The guilt gets to me and I convince my self that with all the broth that comes out, a lot of butter is not needed. Silly me! Of course it's the butter that makes it taste the best.
Melt 1 stick (1/4 cup) butter and saute leeks and garlic until softened. Toss in the potatoes to combine and then the clams. I sprinkled in a few red pepper flakes and a few turns of the pepper mill and added a half cup of white wine. Bring to a boil and cover, stirring occasionally until all the clams have opened. Toss away any unopened shells. All it takes is one bad clam! Delicious they were, but dare I say, I am still craving grilled clams with just garlic and butter? That concentrated flavor is the best. Just another good reason to have clams again!