Clam sizes ( HINT: All of the below are Quahogs )
- Quahog (full grown – largest – AKA Chowder Clams and weigh 2-3 clams per pound.)
- Top Neck (AKA Count Neck clams, at 4-5 clams per pound.)
- Cherry Stone (A little larger, at 6-8 quahog clams per pound.)
- Little Neck (The smallest size of quahog, amounting to 9-10 clams per pound)
Which type of clam to buy depends on how you want to prepare them. The clams get tougher and chewier as they get larger, making these sizes ideal for chowders, stuffing, frying, and other cooked preparations. Choose smaller sizes when steaming, grilling, or eating raw.
To open them you can use a paring knife. The right way to do this is to put the edge of the blade at the spot furthest from the hinge. Put the hinge against the meat of your palm, then squeeze the edge into the clam. You will then cut the muscle from the shell in two places on each shell. Scoop out. The little necks you can eat raw. They are frequently served on the half shell (see recipe below.)
Alternate ways to open them:
1. Put into an oven at 350º for 8 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
2. Put into the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Sauce for topping on a Little Neck served on the half-shell
- 2 TBL ketchup
- 1 TBL Siracha
- 1 TBL prepared horseradish
- Juice and zest from one lime or lemon
After you split the clams collect the juice. For a clam cocktail
- Let juice rest and pour the clarified top into a pitcher
– discard the solids that settle to the bottom
- Add juice from one lemon, a dash of Siracha
- Splash on vodka or gin
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