Steamed Mussels and Clams with Fresh Tomatoes and Thyme

by Gavan on March 5, 2009

Mussels with fresh tomatoes & thyme

I love March for many reasons. It’s the beginning of Spring, I’ll be turning 27 again and the ultimate reason—St. Paddy’s Day arrives! Most people will be drinking their meals that day but just in case you get peckish I’ve got you covered.

One of the advantages to growing up on the west coast of Ireland was having the access to fresh seafood and I’m talking just plucked from the ocean, fresh. Of course then they’d smother it in some sort of butter sauce as the Irish do, but you always knew it was fresh. Ah, the good ol’ days.

When we were back home for a holiday last September, we visited a little fishing town called Dingle, in County Kerry. Known for the fresh seafood we even spotted the fishermen bringing bags of mussels up to a restaurant. Guess where we ate that night?

I love March for many reasons. It’s the beginning of Spring, I’ll be turning 27 again and the ultimate reason—St. Paddy’s Day arrives!  Most people will be drinking their meals that day but just in case you get peckish I’ve got you covered.

One of the advantages to growing up on the west coast of Ireland was having the access to fresh seafood and I’m talking just plucked from the ocean, fresh. Of course then they’d smother it in some sort of butter sauce as the Irish do, but you always knew it was fresh. Ah, the good ol’ days.

When we were back home for a holiday last September, we visited a little fishing town called Dingle, in County Kerry. Known for the fresh seafood we even spotted the fishermen bringing bags of mussels up to a restaurant. Guess where we ate that night?

Here’s my interpretation of that brilliant meal.

RECIPE:
Serves 2

1 lb mussels (about 20)
1 lb littleneck clams (about 20)
2 Roma tomatoes – diced
1 medium shallot – fine dice
2 garlic cloves – minced
handful fresh thyme
cup white wine
black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Crusty bread (French bread), sliced

DIRECTIONS:

1. Begin by rinsing the mussels and clams in cold water. Search through them to make sure the shells are all closed. Discard all opened or cracked shells.

TIP: For slightly opened shells, tap lightly on your work surface and if your shells close, they’re good to use.  My motto here: When in doubt, throw it out.

2. Preheat deep sauté pan on medium heat for 3 minutes.
3. Add olive oil and sauté tomatoes and garlic for 1 minute.
4. Add shallots and fresh thyme and continue sautéing for another minute.
5. Add shellfish and wine.
6. Cover with lid and steam for 4-5 minutes or until all the shells have opened.

To Serve
7. Using a slotted spoon, divide the shellfish between 2 dishes.
8. Ladle the tomato broth over the mussels.
9. Finish dish with some freshly chopped parsley and crusty bread.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.

For the crusty bread
1. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a rub of garlic clove on top.
2. Grill in a hot pan until toasty.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.

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