Magazine article Sunset

Steam Heat

Magazine article Sunset

Steam Heat

Article excerpt

Cook shellfish in minutes in a versatile broth

A simple dish like steamed clams or mussels doesn't take much more time than warming up a frozen dinner, but it provides a hands-on meal worth the minimal extra effort. Throw a few ingredients into a pan for a savory broth to steam the shellfish in; our recipe offers three quick options. While it heats, scrub hard-shell clams or mussels, then add them to the bubbling liquid. Within five minutes, dinner's on. Add crusty bread and a favorite spinach salad, then sit down to a real dinner.

Steamed Clams or Mussels in Seasoned Broth

PREP AND COOK TIME: 25 minutes

MAKES: 2 servings

NOTES: As the shellfish cook, they release their briny juices into the broth. Clams tend to be saltier than mussels; when cooking them, use water for the broth.

Seasoned broth (choices follow)

3 dozen clams in shells, suitable for steaming (about 2 ½ lb.), or mussels in shells (1 ¼ lb.)

Chopped parsley, green onions, or fresh cilantro

Lemon wedges

1. In a covered 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer while cleaning shellfish.

2. Meanwhile, scrub clams or mussels well; pull any beards off mussels. Discard open shellfish that don't close when tapped.

3. Return broth to a boil over high heat. …

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