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Clams in White Wine Cream Sauce with Spicy Dutch-Oven Cornbread

Bowl of cooked clams with parsley on a white plate, a golden slice of cornbread, and gold utensils on a white napkin.

A Taste of Wild - Pacific Northwest

Jon Moore and Aubrey Gigandet bring you restaurant-worthy recipes you can make on the road, inspired by their travels in the Pacific Northwest.

Clams in White Wine Cream Sauce with Spicy Dutch-Oven Cornbread

We made our way into Newport via the Yaquina Bay Bridge, a fitting end to our three-hour haul  from Portland. It isn’t a trip to Newport without a visit to the historic Bayfront, with all its Pacific Northwestern coastal charm: wharf workers in their rubber overalls, squawking sea lions on an empty pier, the salty pungency of seaweed and fish. The Bayfront is dotted with fresh seafood markets, and, with our RV parked and our trusty red cooler in hand, we ventured in to ask about the day’s catch. The clerk pointed us to the clams.

Honey Cornbread Baked in Dutch Oven

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

COOKING TOOLS

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Dutch oven

METHOD

Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper flakes and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend all ingredients. 

Add in egg, heavy cream, water, honey, and olive oil. Mix until just combined. 

Bake directly on coals with a couple coals evenly distributed on top of the lid as well.   Allow it to do it’s magic for about 25-35 minutes, insert a wooden skewer or knife, and if it comes out clean, the corn bread is cooked through.  

Yields 2 servings.

Clams in White Wine Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for bread
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼-½ shallot, minced
  • 4oz seasonal wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 stalk chard, sliced
  • 2 lbs. fresh, live clams
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, minced
  • Lemon
  • Salt and pepper

COOKING TOOLS

  • Stainless steel pan
  • Oven mitt
  • Grate
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large pot
  • Linen

METHOD

To clean your clams, soak them in running water for about 10 minutes. They should open up, which we want. Clamp each clam to make sure it closes, which tells us it’s still alive. If an open clam does not close, throw it out. After this process, drain any liquid and hold them in the refrigerator until step 3.

Put your pan on medium heat and season with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the mushrooms for about one minute or until they sweat.

Add the garlic and shallot, sweat for about 15 seconds, and then add in the chard, clams and red pepper flakes.

Remove the pan from the heat and deglaze with the white wine. Return the pan to the stove, cover it and cook until all the clams have opened. One or two clams may never open. Throw them out.

Remove the lid and add in the cream. If you want a thicker sauce, let it reduce a bit. Hint: You’ll want a bit of a thicker sauce.

Season with salt and pepper. Plate the clams, and top with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and minced parsley.

Yields 2 servings.