How to make clam hash
This is an old-time, comfort-food classic that has achieved new popularity with the rise of high-level, informal dining, and the discovery that hash is “cool.” The soft steamer clam bellies play well against the crunchy potatoes. You can choose to use Steamer soft-shell clams from the Northeast United States or Razor soft-shell clams from either the East or West coast of the U.S., both are wonderfully flavorful and never turn rubbery when they’re cooked. Serves 4.
Things you’ll need
- large skillet
- deep kettle with a double-boiler or steamer rack and a tight fitting lid
- sharp French knife
- cutting board
- 3 cups diced potatoes (about 1 lb.)
- 4 lbs. soft-shell clams
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp. finely minced onions
- 3 tbsp. diced red bell peppers
- 3 tbsp. diced green bell peppers
- 1 tbsp. finely minced garlic
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of paprika
- Boil the potatoes in salted water in the kettle until just tender, about 15 minutes.Drain in the colander, and run cold water over the potatoes. Set aside.
- Put ¾ of an inch of water in the bottom of the kettle and place the steamer rack over it. Bring water to a boil, put one third of the clams on the rack, and cover with the lid. Cook them for about 4 to 5 minutes, until clams have opened wide.
- Remove the clams from the rack and set aside. Cook the remaining clams in 2 batches. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells, chop coarsely, and set aside. You should have more than 1 cup of clam meat.
- Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over high heat. When butter is hot, add the garlic, onion, and salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the remaining butter and, when melted, add the reserved potatoes and black pepper. Sauté for about 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the potatoes are crisp and well browned.
- Add the red and green peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika and the clam meat. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your liking, and serve immediately.
- Wash the clams under cold water before beginning to cook them.
- Soft-shell clams are never closed, and have their siphons sticking out. The way to tell if the clams are fresh and alive is to touch the shell. You should see some movement inside the siphon, usually the clam retracts it into the shell. If the siphon doesn’t move, don’t buy them. Also, dead clams have a foul or rotten odor, live clams should only smell like the sea.
- To turn this into a great brunch or luncheon main course, slip a few poached or fried eggs on top.
- If you prefer a crispier top, you can pass the hash under a preheated broiler for a few minutes.
- Cook the clams as soon as possible after purchasing them. Keep them wrapped in the refrigerator for no more that 2 to 3 days.
- Always wash down the cutting board and working surfaces of your kitchen with a dilution of hot water and a little bleach when you’re finished preparing the clams.
What did you think of this tutorial?