My Chef's Hat - Steamed Clams & Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce

One of the biggest challenges in moving to Oklahoma was the knowledge that I wouldn't get good seafood.  I literally refused to eat seafood for the first year that I lived here. Eventually I tested out the waters with the vacuum-sealed packages at Sam’s Club, and those were good.  But I still wouldn't eat it at restaurants.  It’s so funny because some of my friends here think that Red Lobster is seafood.  Nope.  Not even close.  Well, the all-you-can-eat shrimp is pretty good, but shrimp and salmon both are hard to mess up and can withstand a couple days of shipping.  But for a long time I thought there was no such thing as “fresh” seafood in Oklahoma.  I will say that I’ll now eat seafood at the higher end restaurants in Dallas & Houston, because they fly it in very regularly. 

I recently discovered Bodean in Tulsa.  They've got both a market and a restaurant.  I ate at the restaurant a couple months ago and did a blog post about it.  They fly their seafood in twice a day.  And it is absolutely phenomenal.  I was so excited to find this place, because I can buy seafood from the market. But I’m not going to drive all the way to Tulsa just to buy some seafood.  For the past couple of months I've been doing donor visits one day a week in Tulsa, which gives me the perfect excuse to pick up some seafood on the way home for dinner.

I was in Tulsa on Thursday, so stopped at the market when I was done with my appointments.  I usually get salmon and shrimp, but for some reason I kept going back to the clams & mussels.  One thing that’s great about the market is the fish mongers know their stuff and are able to help you make decisions, and also recommend cooking methods.  Once I decided it couldn't be that hard to make them, I put my adventurous cap on, got some recommendations, and bought mussels, cockels, and clams.  

Mind you, I've never ever cooked these before. And for some reason I was always scared to do it.  But the fish monger convinced me that it would be really easy.  I went on Pinterest when I got home to make sure I wouldn't screw anything up.  There's tons of recipes, and many have slight variations, but this recipe for Steamed Clams with White Wine, Garlic & Butter is the closest to what the fish monger described.

I was really impressed with how easy this was.  And how delicious the clams and mussels were.  And how awesome the wine/butter/garlic sauce was.  When I started steaming them I was convinced that I had way too many.  But really, the meat in each one is really small, so in the end it's not really that much.  

I will most definitely be making this again.  Now that I've accomplished this very simple first version, I can branch out and play around with other variations.  And maybe even grill them one of these days.

Recipe can be found on KitchMe