Beer Steamed Clams with Bacon and Tomatoes

Chow on 01.25.10
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This is possibly one of the best 10 minute meals I've ever made! I'll take clams any which way (well, except rubbery overcooked) - steamed, raw, fried, smothered and creamed in soup. When I'm lucky enough to get my hands on really fresh manila clams, I always invite friends over to feast.

For this recipe, I sauteed a bit of bacon (yay!) Once the bacon crisps up nicely, I'll throw in the onions, jalapeno and garlic. This gets sauteed for a few minutes until the onion is softened and the whole thing smells like heaven.

You can use any type of beer (what do you enjoy? I like lager) or you could use white wine. For non-alcoholic version, just add in vegetable broth. I think chicken broth is too strong of flavor for this dish. You want to taste the clams, not the chicken!

You can use any type of clams for this recipe - even the large palm-sized cherrystone clams. Just add a minute to the cooking time when using larger clams. These manila clams are from Taylor Shellfish Farms, and I highly recommend them - there wasn't a bad one in the batch of 5 pounds, which is really rare!

Beer Steamed Manila Clams with Bacon and Tomato Recipe

Recipe by Jaden Hair, Steamy Kitchen

serves 4 as appetizer or part of multicourse meal

2 strips bacon, diced
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno (optional)
12 ounces beer (I prefer lager)
1 large tomato, chopped
2 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
1 loaf crusty bread

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is just starting to crisp. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeno. Saute for 1 minute until the onions are softened.

2. Pour in the beer and let the beer bubble a bit. Add in the tomatoes and the clams. Spread the clams around, mound them evenly. Cover the pot with tight fitting lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then take a quick peek. Some of the clams should begin to open. If all of them are open already, the clams are done. If a bunch of the clams are still closed, cover and cook additional 30 seconds. Discard any clams which are closed.

3. Squeeze the lemon in the pot, add the parsley and then give it a quick stir. Serve immediately with crusty bread.