Clams and Scallops

More cooking with wine! Last night’s dinner was inspired by the many, many bowls of mussels I have eaten at restaurants like Les Zygomates. Unfortunately when I got to my not-so-great neighborhood Shaw’s, they were out of mussels, almost out of clams, and out of sea scallops, so I decided to be flexible and to make the same recipe with littleneck clams and sweet bay scallops. I got a pound of each which ended up being more than enough for two, served with a whole wheat baguette and some leftover Brussels sprouts.

When I got home, I started out by rinsing and soaking the clams. There is nothing grosser than getting sand in your teeth! I changed the water about 10 times, and then ran each clam under running water for a few seconds before cooking. They were perfect.

littleneck clams

The sauce for the seafood was fairly simple:

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and also rinsed very well as fennel grows in sandy soil

1 shallot, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons butter

2 heaping tablespoons of Dijon mustard

2 cups Travessia Chardonnay

a splash of heavy cream, at the very end


fennel bulb



bay scallops

I very simply tossed the fennel, shallot, garlic, and butter together in a heavy-bottomed pot and got them up to a sizzle before pouring in the wine and mustard. I stirred gently, added the scallops and the clams, put a lid on the pot, and let it bubble. This is a dish you have to watch; the scallops can overcook very quickly, but you want the clams to be fully opened. I actually ended up using a slotted spoon to scoop the scallops out first, then left the clams a few more minutes until they were fully open. Do not eat a clam that doesn’t fully open!


We soaked up the delicious sauce with slices of broiled whole wheat baguette. My husband said that it was better than any seafood dish he has eaten in a restaurant, and because of its simplicity and delicious, subtle flavors, I might have to agree with him.

We ate while watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. What a miracle! I couldn’t believe how they were all in good condition.

I am delighted that it is Thursday. I’d like to give a big 30th birthday shoutout to my friend and college roomate Meghan, who I will celebrate with at Barbara Lynch’s Drink tonight. Happy Birthday MVO!!! I love birthday season!

When is your birthday?

Also, Boston friends, Vino Divino is hosting its Grand Opening party this Saturday in Brookline. There will be bubbly, food, and wine tasting in their tasting salon. If you are in the Washington Square area, stop by!

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Tags: chardonnay, clams, cooking, fennel, Food, recipe, scallops, seafood, Travessia, wine

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I am so envious of this meal. I would love to cook shellfish more at home but since Bret doesn’t eat it, it doesn’t really make sense for me to make it. So in other words….can you invite me over next time? ;-)


  2. Daisy’s avatar

    Another meal that has me in awe of your cooking skills. I have never cooked littleneck clams but I love ordering them out.

    I think I tweeted you this but omg the Chilean miners resuce had me in tears. I agree with your sentiments, what an incredible mission!


  3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    That sounds like a yummy dinner! I love clams.

    The rescue was amazing. I’m so happy for their families.


  4. Megan’s avatar

    This sounds fantastic — minus the scallops. :) There’s a mussel dish I always get when I go to Robert’s up in Kittery, ME, and your sauce sounds so similar except they also crumble sausage in it (which I know you wouldn’t do). The fennel definitely adds a lot of flavor in the dish though, and I’m imagining this tasting very similar.


  5. Justin’s avatar

    Nice work! This sounds great. I like making dishes like this at home, because I can always make sure I have plenty of bread to soak up all of the sauce. But, I usually have no clue what kind of wine to use when I cook, so I’ll be sure to try a chardonnay the next time I make mussels.


  6. Enrico’s avatar

    this looks amazing…. yum!! so seasonal.


    LE LE LE



  7. Jennifer’s avatar

    I’ve always used some cornmeal in the soaking water (salted, btw) to help get the clams clean. Some people say it works, some people say it’s unnecessary, but it’s worked for me.


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Wow! I never heard of that but will give it a try. Anything to get the grit out!


    2. Susan’s avatar

      I couldn’t click on this post fast enough when I saw that title in my reader. I LOVE scallops and clams! I want to get into cooking shellfish more because I love it. For some reason it’s scary to me because I’m afraid I’ll get sick if I don’t cook it right. Thanks for the recipe idea!


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        I think shellfish is pretty fool-proof. As long as they are fully open (don’t eat if you have to pry!), they are generally okay. These clams took longer than I expected, but I just left them covered for a few extra minutes, and when I returned they had all opened. My problem is usually that I have to lift the lid 100 times to check, not giving them the steam buildup that they need!


      2. Sues’s avatar

        I LOVE mussels, but I’m also a pretty big fan of clams and scallops and these look fabulous! They’re definitely something I order out more than I actually make in my own kitchen, but that might have to change!


      3. Tiffany’s avatar

        Today is my birthday and I think I just decided that I want scallops for my birthday dinner, great post, thanks for sharing!


        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          HAPPY HAPPY Birthday to you!! I hope you have a fantastic day!


        2. Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

          I love clams and I love mussels and I love scallops.. and I love.. all shellfish :D

          I’m in the middle of bday season too, many friend are celebrating now and mine is in few weeks on 4th November :)


        3. Jason Phelps’s avatar

          I’m a scallop guy but leave the clams to my wife. Either way this recipe looks great!



        4. January’s avatar

          that looks like an awesome dinner :) i love scallops and clams too


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