Clams for Baby

After a trip to the market for groceries, this multitasking mom makes a hungry baby as happy as a clam, because nobody puts baby in the corner when it comes to his shellfish.

Last week the hubby was out of town for a work trip, so I was flailing all over the place trying to keep our ship running. On Thursday, I took the kids to stock up on food for the weekend, and the Gravy Baby (my son) lost it, and I mean lost it, over a tank of live littleneck clams. I'd planned on kind of mailing it in for dinner that night by having us all raid the 'fridge for leftovers, and so I told the Gravy Baby the clams would have to wait.

The Gravy Baby pleaded with me. "Puh-lease, can't we just have a little bit of clams?" I opened my mouth to decline again, and then I paused. It's not like he was asking me for cake, or pizza, or any number of things three year olds ask for. "You can use the basil I'm growing in my garden, mama! Puh-lease puh-lease puh-lease!!!"

I caved, and into the cart went 5 pounds of clams. We ended up eating them in spurts all weekend. On the first night I made them, the Gravy Baby sang to his supper. "Oh clams, how I love you," he bellowed. Yeah, I believe him.

After the jump, a recipe.


Steamed Littleneck Clams with Basil and Garlic

2-3 pounds fresh clams, scrubbed thoroughly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large, heavy pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring one minute.  Add clams and white wine and immediately cover, reducing heat to low.  Steam for approximately 7-9 minutes or until clams are mostly open.  Remove from heat and add second tablespoon of butter, ground pepper and basil. Serve immediately.

(Images via Ann Kaufman)