When purchasing clams, it is important to choose fresh and healthy specimens to avoid any potential food-borne illnesses. Look for clams that are slightly open, and make sure that the shells are not cracked or damaged. If the clams are slightly open, give them a gentle tap - if they close up, they are still alive and good to eat. Also, check the smell of the clams - they should have a mild, salty aroma, and should not have any strong or unpleasant odors.
When possible, purchase clams from a reputable fishmonger or seafood market, as they are more likely to have been properly stored and handled. Once you bring the clams home, refrigerate them immediately, and cook them within a day or two for the best flavor and texture.
(In our video, we actually used cockles. There are minor differences between clams and cockles in terms of flavor and texture, but the same guidelines apply to purchasing and cooking both.)
Cooking clams can be a delicate process, as overcooking them can cause them to become tough and chewy, while undercooking them can lead to potential food-borne illnesses.
That’s why our recipe cooks the clams twice: once in boiling water to focus on actually cooking them through, and once more, very briefly, to get the clams seasoned and sauced.