There are few things the Northeast loves more than seafood – especially clams! From steamers to quahogs, this humble shellfish is a Northeast favorite, especially in summertime. Clam recipes are boundless – you can eat them on the half shell, fry them, steam them, cook them up in chowder or put them in dips. But good, fresh clams taste amazing no matter what you do to them. If you’re looking for a hearty clam dish to prepare for your friends and family, there’s plenty to choose from.
If there’s any clam recipe that represents the different food cultures of the Northeast, it’s clam chowder. Each part of the Northeast seems to have a different way of preparing this meal, though they’re all delicious. New England clam chowder is thick, with a creamy dairy base and a hearty texture. This classic New England clam chowder recipe also calls for potatoes, onions and bacon. Yum!
Rhode Island, however, has its own form of clam chowder without any milk or cream, resulting in a soup that looks a lot clearer than most other chowders. This Rhode Island clam chowder recipe specifies that the clams used should be quahogs, their official state shell.
New England isn’t the only place to find a bowl of clam chowder. New York has a couple different chowders of its own. Manhattan clam chowder adds more vegetables, specifically tomatoes, which make the chowder red. This particular Manhattan clam chowder recipe calls for 12 ounces of tomato juice, strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes – and even a dash of hot sauce!
If you can’t decide which specific clam chowder recipe is for you, you might want to look into making Long Island clam chowder instead. Long Island clam chowder is more of a mix between Manhattan and New England chowder into a creamy pink dish. This Long Island clam chowder recipe mixes tomatoes and tomato paste with heavy cream.
Fried clams are a great clam recipe to recreate a day at the beach, getting clams at the boardwalk and trying to avoid seagulls. This clam shack favorite is a must-have for any hungry Northeasterner. This recipe for fried clams, New England style uses corn flour and buttermilk to recreate the feeling of a summer at the shore. Just don’t forget the tartar sauce.
Baked Clams (aka Stuffies)
“Stuffies” as they are called in Rhode Island, are a staple at clam shacks and Italian restaurants across the region. Often prepared “oreganata” or with oregano, a stuffing made of breadcrumb, garlic, lemon juice and other seasonings is baked and served on the half shell. Some add the breadcrumb mixture on top of the whole clam while others chop up the clams and add them to the mix. Here’s how to make this super simple clam recipe at home or try clams casino, which adds bacon.
Sometimes some good, old-fashioned steamed clams are the best way to go. This recipe for steamed clams adds garlic butter for even more taste. It’s the perfect addition to any clambake or seafood platter – and it’s also a delicious dish on its own. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy while you’re eating them.
Clams? Put it on the pizza! One of the strangest clam recipes is clam pizza, but it’s also one of the most beloved. Just ask New Haven’s Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, whose signature dish, white clam pizza, is a local favorite. The clam pizza was created sometime in the 1960’s by Frank Pepe himself, and the pizzeria has been serving it to hungry customers ever since. Their constant line out the door says it all. If you want to make white clam pizza of your own, check out this New Haven-style recipe, which translates this restaurant dish into something you can make at home.
You’re sure to become a favorite at parties with this clam recipe. Clam dip is perfect for appetizers and snacks, it’s an easy crowd pleaser and it’s usually a pretty simple recipe to follow. It might be the easiest dish on the list. Check out this clam dip recipe, which takes only a few minutes to prepare! You can serve it with crackers, chips, fresh vegetables or even fried clams.
A cousin of fried clams and a truly New England dish, a clam cake is a deep-fried ball of chopped clam. Who could say no to that? You can even dip clam cakes in your clam chowder. This Rhode Island clam cake recipe uses quahog clams, cornmeal and beer.
Have you ever made any of these clam recipes? What’s your favorite way to eat or prepare clams? Let us know in the comments below.