Steamed Clams and Polenta

So I tried two new things today. I’ve never cooked littleneck clams, and I’ve neither cooked nor eaten polenta before.

The steamed clams were very easy – much easier than I thought. We bought them from the fish monger (and according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium safe watch list – which I downloaded to my iPhone – is a “best choice”) and I looked up how to cook them when I got home. Partly my inspiration for buying them (besides shopping hungry) is my friend Julie, who I’ve seen steam clams and is my role model for cooking seafood. So the recipe I found was thus: one cup water, one cup dry white wine, 4 pounds scrubbed clams. And that’s it. I put the wine and water in a French oven (I used a La Creuset 6qt pot – literally my only impressive pot) and while it was getting to a boil, I scrubbed the clams. Then it boiled and I added the clams and covered the pot. It boiled five minutes, and then I spooned out the open clams. I let it boil two more minutes, and spooned out the remaining open clams. Any unopened clams should be discarded, but I didn’t have any that didn’t open. We enjoyed the clams with some melted butter – yum!

Then while Bob cooked himself up some burgers, I cooked up some organic dried tomato and garlic polenta. It browned up nicely in a couple of minutes, and was tasty. It was easy to cook. I cut off a slice, then browned it in  sauce pan over medium-high heat. Our side was sweet potatoes cubed and roasted with honey in the oven. That cooked for probably 45 minutes, from the time we started making the clams until after the polenta was done. It was a nice meal, and I’m glad I tried some new things!

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