For us, summer is steamed-clam season, and our favorite place to cook them is on top of the grill (inside a Field Skillet, of course). Our favorite recipe comes together in minutes and uses a simple compound butter to create a vibrant, verdant sauce. We like to break out this recipe whenever we don't want to spend too much time in front of the grill, or when we need to make a quick starter course while our main dish cooks away over the fire.
Don't let sandy clams spoil your supper. Be sure to scrub the shellfish well (our natural fiber brush is excellent at the task), and if they seem particularly sandy, soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes to help them purge any grit.
We prefer to use a dry white wine—likely the same wine we'll be drinking with our meal—to cook the clams, but if you find yourself without a bottle, you can substitute dry vermouth or, if you don't cook with alcohol, some bottled clam juice or vegetable stock.
You can also make this recipe with mussels, or turn it into a pasta course by tossing in some cooked linguini.
Recipe: Clams in Herbed Butter Broth
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup tarragon leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
24 littleneck (or other steamer) clams, scrubbed
1 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
In a food processor, combine the butter, parsley, garlic, lemon, and salt. Process until smooth and bright green, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Place a No.10 Field Skillet on the grill grates and add the wine. When the wine begins to simmer, add the clams, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook until the clams have all opened, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any clams that don’t open after 10 minutes.
Add the prepared butter to the skillet and stir until melted. Squeeze a couple of lemon wedges over the clams and serve with crusty bread.
Seasoning Rating: Safe
Any braised or steamed dish won’t add any seasoning to your skillet, and while wine-based braising liquid can potentially strip some seasoning away, these clams cook quickly enough that it shouldn’t adversely affect your pan.
Best—These dishes are the best options for building resilient seasoning, and surefire choices for getting tricky pans back on track.
Better—The best way to keep your skillet in great shape is to cook frequently, and cast iron-friendly dishes like these are your bread and butter.
Safe—These recipes won't strip seasoning away from your pan, but won't really add any, either.
OK—Be sure to clean up promptly. Recipes with this rating might feature acidic ingredients which can affect seasoning if not washed soon after cooking.