Clams in Garlic and Herb Broth
Before cooking the clams, keep them on ice, outside of a plastic bag (they need to breathe). I put a shallow tray of ice in the sink and left the clams on top of that until I was ready to cook. You can also put them in a colander placed in a bowl of ice in the refrigerator, if storing longer. Just before cooking, scrub the shells with a brush under cold, running water.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shallot; cook until fragrant, without browning (1-2 minutes). Sprinkle in desired amount of crushed pepper flakes and add wine. Bring to a boil and add the clams and oregano. Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes until clams have opened up, shaking the pan occasionally.
As the clams open, carefully take them out and set aside in a bowl. Discard any clams that have not opened after about 8 minutes.
Continue to simmer the broth until it has reduced some in volume (how much broth you would like with your clams is up to you). Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the parsley. Season with a few grindings of black pepper. Taste to see if salt is needed (probably not, because clams are salty!) Add a touch of heavy cream or coconut milk to the broth, if you’d like. Return the clams to the pan to reheat.
Serve the clams in a bowl with the broth, like a stew – - or they would be excellent served over zucchini noodles.
[Recipe can be adapted to be dairy free by using olive oil instead of butter, and coconut milk instead of cream.]