The New England seashore is known for its fresh food, and shellfish is an enticing treat for locals and vacationers alike. One of the region’s best dishes is steamed clams, and when prepared with this butter and broth combination, it is all the more desirable. Many of our readers recommend the seafood be steamed with beer, but even if you choose to use the traditional method of water, these steamed clams will burst with the taste of a New England summer.
One hour before serving, scrub 6 dozen softshell clams with vegetable brush in cold water; rinse with water until free of sand. Place clams in steamer or on rack in large kettle with 1 cup boiling water (or enough to cover bottom). Cover kettle with tight-fitting lid and steam over low heat just until clams open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve steamed clams in soup bowls with individual cups of butter. Pour broth into mugs and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley. To eat: With fingers, pull clams from shells by the neck; dip first in broth to remove any sand, then into butter. Everything except the tough skin of the neck may be eaten. The broth can be drunk when the sand settles to the bottom.
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