Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy As A Clam

So, back in June, I started the South Beach Plan. For the first 2 weeks, starches are not allowed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I could live off of French baguettes, cheese & butter for the rest of my life. Along with a side of bacon. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it but I figured 2 weeks out of my life, I think I can forgo some starches. To my surprise, it was seemingly easy. Though I was looking forward to biting into something doughy once the two weeks were up. My creativity really kicked in for those 2 weeks. Being a lover of clams, I bought a 50 count bag of middlenecks. Prior to aforementioned diet plan, I would’ve been fine eating them with a big bowl of melted butter & some hot sauce but unfortunately, butter isn’t part of the plan, either. L I looked in the cabinets & the fridge and just started grabbing. I came up with this Mediterranean style clam dish and after I tried it….Needless to say, I was happy as a clam! JJ

BTW: I think this is a great dish to entertain friends with. It’s a tasty starter to any meal. I would serve it along with some nice grilled rustic bread rubbed with a little olive oil, garlic & sea salt.


50 count middleneck clams, cleaned of any sandy particles by soaking in cold water

1 ½ Tb   olive oil
½           Vidalia onion, small dice
1 ½ tsp   dried Italian seasoning          
1Tb        garlic paste **(see recipe below)
15oz       canned petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup      canned chickpeas, drained
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley

Steam clams & carefully remove from shells reserving any of the clam liquid remaining in the shells. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir until soft & translucent being careful not to brown. Add in the Italian seasoning stirring until incorporated with the onions. Reduce temperature to a medium heat, then add the garlic paste being careful not to burn. Stir & cook for 1-2 minutes then add the tomatoes with their juice & the chickpeas. Cover and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat to a medium-low and add the clams with their juice. Cook uncovered for another 3-5 minutes just to allow the flavors to come together and warm the clams. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Pour into a large serving bowl & garnish with the parsley.

**Garlic Paste:
This is a quickie that I usually make a week’s worth of so that I can plop it into any dish that I want to add garlic paste into. Not to mention it’s cheaper than buying the stuff in a tube. Be sure to cover it & place it in the refrigerator. It will last about a week.

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