Clams are reliable sources of iron, vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids. One 3 oz. serving of clams contains 130% of your daily value (DV) of iron. You can take an easy step in order to help your body absorb this iron—I’ll explain later in this post. Clams do not contain mercury, which is a concern for some. They are high in sodium, which is important to note, for those watching their blood pressure closely. I don’t recommend drinking clam broth straight after cooking clams because it's extremely salty. However, do yourself a favor: save the broth and use it to flavor other dishes later. (This is yet another reason why you should make sure your clams are grit-free by washing them carefully prior to cooking them.) I'll even provide a recipe of a veggie dish cooked using the clam broth yielded from this post's recipe.
2 dozen fresh small clams (I used Middle Neck clams from the Chesapeake Bay)
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 12-oz cheap American lager i.e. Bud Light
2/3 tbsp. Trader Joe’s habanero hot sauce
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp. diced white onion
2 tsp. Trader Joe’s Italian Style Soffritto Seasoning Blend
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1 slice of fresh lemon (NOT pre-packaged lemon juice) – approx. 1 cm. thick
Thoroughly rinse and drain the clams to remove any dirt. I use veggie wash such as Trader Joe’s Next to Godliness Fruit & Vegetable Wash for this. (By the way, I only use produce wash as a surfactant for really grimy foods such as celery, potatoes, root vegetables, and shellfish.) The FDA recommends you don't use packaged produce wash, by the way.
Saute the garlic and onion in the butter until browned using the saute feature of the Instant Pot*. (My Instant Pot heats very quickly on the saute feature so I’m mindful of that and turn it off if it gets too hot.) Once the garlic and onion is almost browned, turn it off and add the habanero sauce to the garlic/onion/butter mixture and stir. Next, slowly pour in 12 oz. of American lager, being careful not to burn yourself by hot butter splashing up. I found I prefer Bud Light in this recipe better than Miller Light. If you're wondering why I chose beer over white wine, it's because I'm not a wine guy, so I decided to see how the clams turned out cooked with beer!
Add the Italian Soffrito seasoning and black pepper, then place the clams in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, make sure the valve is set to the “sealing” position, turn the Instant Pot on, and set it to “manual” with its time set to 1 minute. Once the cooking cycle is completed, release the pressure manually and remove the clams carefully using tongs or the like.
Discard any unopened clams. Squeeze a slice of lemon over each clam and into the broth. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, don’t even bother making this recipe! The vitamin C in the lemons will help your body absorb the iron in the clams, as well as releases their sweet flavor. Bon appetit!
Last but not least, empty your kitchen trash can. You don’t want to leave the clam shells sitting around in your kitchen for 12 hours! Once the broth cools, consider storing it for later use i.e. freeze it in a Ziploc bag. Stay tuned for a veggie recipe that will make you want to steam clams, if for nothing else than their juice.
*If you don't have an Instant Pot, steam the clams using your steamer per the manufacturer's instructions for steaming clams.
#soffritto #steamedclamsrecipe #middleneckclams #Italianstylesoffritoseasoningblend #soffrittosecretweapon #cookssecretweapon #beerclams #beersteamedclams #ironrichfood #steamedclams
According to the Trader Joe’s web site, “A soffritto is a blend of aromatics that are indispensable in a cook’s kitchen.” Trader Joe's Italian Style Soffrito Seasoning Blend is already indispensable in my kitchen. Thank goodness there are 154 servings in each jar of this blend, and I look forward to creating my own blend, too.
The quickest way to get soffrito into your belly is to sprinkle it into olive oil and use it as a dip. However, olive oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon (1 serving), and the soffritto/EVOO combo is so delicious that it’s very tempting to have more than one serving. Once I put soffritto into oil I found myself cursing myself for not bringing bread and crackers into the home. Which lead me to purchase a loaf of Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane (classic Italian bread), and their Pita Bite crackers. It’s really a slippery slope once the Soffritto hits the oil. The soffritto oil is delicious on top of Trader Joe’s Fried Ravioli. But see, here I went from not owning bread to pouring EVOO on fried ravioli. My excuse for this kind of behavior is the pandemic and it being winter.
Another use for the Italian Style Soffritto seasoning is to roll it into your pizza dough or flatbread dough. Pictured is a hastily-made small pizza I made for myself using Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pizza Dough with soffritto in the dough. The toppings on this version are red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, white onion, TJ’s pizza sauce (refrigerated version), and shredded mozzarella (with soffritto and garlic powder in the crust.) The edges are a little rough because I never have the patience to let the dough sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes as recommended, and my rolling pin is about the size of a carrot. To speed things up, I cheat a little by placing the dough on top of the stove when the oven (below it) is pre-heating. While I don’t require a gluten free diet, I prefer the gluten free version over regular pizza dough. I’m kicking myself that I waited so long to try the gluten free dough. The rice in it reminds me of rice crackers.
The author receives no promotional compensation from Trader Joe's.
#Italianstylesoffritto #soffritto #Italianseasoning #Italianseasoningblend
12/25/2020: Merry Christmas! As I write this, it’s Christmas morning and I’m excited to share this recipe with you. My family isn’t gathering for Christmas this year since we’re socially-distancing to stay safe, but this is the “star” dish I would've been the most excited about preparing and sharing with them. Maybe by Easter 2021 we can enjoy a holiday meal together again.
Oysters contain vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, plus immunity-boosting protein, zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin D. They’re a low-calorie food—six medium Eastern oysters (i.e. the kind from the Chesapeake Bay) contain under 50 calories. Rosemary is the flavor I notice the most in this honey Aleppo sauce, while honey complements the oysters’ brininess with its sweet flavor. The Aleppo pepper gives these saltwater bivalves a little punch, but it’s not overly spicy and won’t overpower them nor singe your taste buds. If there's one item I discovered at Trader Joe's in 2020 that I must have on-hand at all times, it's the Trader Joe's Honey Aleppo Sauce, no question. Baking the oysters in olive oil (the first ingredient in the honey Aleppo sauce) is a healthier option than frying them.
6 medium-size oysters, out of their shells, washed & drained
Approx. 5 TBSP Trader Joe’s Honey Aleppo Sauce
Approx. 1 oz. Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Panko Breadcrumbs (approx. 1/7th of the bag)
1/3 tsp. California garlic powder
Dash of ground Himalayan pink sea salt crystals (to taste)
Dash of freshly ground black peppercorns (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 405 degrees F. Marinate the oysters in the Trader Joe’s honey Aleppo sauce for 5-10 minutes. Put the panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish suitable for dipping the oysters into. Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs. (Go easy on the salt!) Dip the oysters in the panko breadcrumb mixture, covering both sides of each oyster. Place the oysters on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Add panko to any spots that became bare in moving the oysters. Bake the oysters for 20-25 minutes at 405 degrees F, until most of the panko is golden brown. Allow to cool down for a couple minutes, and enjoy!
Makes 1 serving--a perfect snack or appetizer!
#oysters #easternoysters #chesapeakebayoysters #aleppopeppers #halabypeppers #middleeasternpeppers #honeyalepposauce #traderjoeshoneyalepposauce #oysters #bakedoysters #immunityboostingnutrients #healthyseafoodpreparation #traderjoes