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Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing

Wood fired Clams-Showing the different stages of color and flavor for smoking clams over the grill. Add a little chunk of wood. The taste is amazing

WOOD FIRED CLAMS MAKE THIS THE PERFECT BITE

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Clams are at peak season and the perfect time to add some wood flavoring to this hot season favorite.  We’ll show you how on a charcoal grill then use our golden, crispy clam meat in a super light and flavorful dish we call ‘Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce’.  The best part, you can use fresh clams that you remove the meat from or simply buy clam meat from the store’s seafood department or in cans in most grocery stores.   A simple, delicious and oh, so flavorful dish that will be a hit with everyone who tries it.

Cooking with Ease on the Charcoal Grill with Wood

chimney starter for the charcoal

As we will only be using the clam meat, I’ll be setting up my charcoal grill with a sauté pan.  First, light a chimney starter full of charcoal.  Add the hot coals from the starter to one side of the grill and then add some unlit charcoal to the other side.  Add one chunk of SmokinLicious® wood – I’m using cherry – to the hot coals.  Line the sauté pan with parchment paper and put 2 cups of clam meat in the pan.  Drizzle oil, plain or flavored, to the clam meat and then place the pan on the grill.

Wood Flavors Add Crisping

As the wood smolders and releases its flavonoids you’ll see the clam meat change color and crisp up.  The grill will steam out the water in the clams and produce a unique flavor that only hardwood can give.  The total cook time will be less than 20 minutes.  About half way through, you will need to stir the clam meat to ensure that every piece gets browned.  Keep in mind, all charcoal grills vary in the heat output so monitor closely after 12 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Recipe Ingredients

It’s time to take the flavorful wood-fired clam meat and make something special!  For our Wood-Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups wood-fired clam meat
  • 1-1/2 cups peas, fully cooked
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream or crème fresh
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup capers, reserving 2 tablespoons caper juice
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

In addition to the ingredient list, you’ll also need a sauté pan or saucepan, and a pasta cooker.

Getting Things Started on the Stove

Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-high heat pan and melt completed.  Add the minced shallot.  Allow the shallot to cook until translucent.  While this is cooking, place a stock pot with water on high heat and allow to boil.  This pot will be for cooking the orzo.  I prefer to use a pasta basket for cooking pasta especially smaller cuts, so they are easy to unload from the water.

Creating the Sauce

Pouring the cream for the sauce

Once the shallots are translucent, it’s time to add the 2 cups of heavy cream.  Allow the cream to come to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook until the cream thickens stirring occasionally.  This should take about 10 minutes.  During that time, my orzo water is ready so I add my basket with the 12 ounces of orzo to the boiling water.  The orzo should be done just about the same time as the cream thickens.

With our cream shallot mixture thickened up, it’s time to add the key flavor ingredients. Remove the thickened cream from the heat and add the capers with 2 tablespoons of reserved caper juice.  Then in goes the 3-1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.  With the sauce finished, it’s time to remove the orzo from the boiling water and pour into a serving dish.  Drizzle some olive oil and combine to keep the orzo from sticking together.  Just a few additional ingredients, and this dish will be ready!

Bring on the Clams!

With the orzo cooked and placed in a serving bowl, it’s time to add the final ingredients to bring this recipe together.  First, 1-1/2 cups of cooked peas are added to the orzo, then the 2 cups of wood-fired clam meat.  Now, pour in the Dijon caper sauce and combine everything.  I’ve rough chopped some fresh parsley and will top off the finished dish with this.  Here’s a tip, the orzo will absorb the sauce relatively fast so I pour about ¾ of the sauce in and let the dish sit for a few minutes.  Then pour in the rest of the sauce and top with the fresh parsley.

Layers of Flavor in One Bite

We started with clam meat that was kissed by cherry wood smoke to add a crisp, highly flavorful protein to our dish.  A creamy Dijon caper sauce bound the additional ingredients of peas, orzo, and fresh parsley.  Although I prefer this dish warm, I can’t say that it isn’t great cold as well.  As with all our recipes, you can swap out ingredients for others that are your favorites.  Wood Fired Clams in Orzo with Dijon Caper Sauce –  a simple yet highly flavorful dish that will soon become one of your favorites.

Let us know your thoughts on this recipe and technique by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

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Dr Smoke

Dr.Smoke- “Adding the most unique flavor change to clams is done through the smoking process or wood fired clams. Try it, you may like it!”