Clams in Creamy Prosciutto Broth

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Over the years I have frequently made Portuguese Clams (Ameijoas na cataplana) .  There was recently a similar dish in the Wall St. Journal, which added cream to the usual ingredients.  It was very tasty.  I used bigger clams than I wanted since they were what was available at New Grand Mart.  It made an excellent dinner with crusty bread, a salad, and a good white wine.  Here are quantities for 2 servings.  It takes only about 20 minutes to prepare, excluding the time the clams spend in some cold water with cornmeal purging themselves.

2 lbs. fresh clams, scrubbed and soaked in water with cornmeal

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 large shallot , finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced and chopped

Zest and juice from ½ lemon

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the prosciutto and increase the temperature to medium-high.  Cook a few minutes until the prosciutto begins to crisp.  Add the lemon zest and juice and the white wine, and some freshly ground pepper.  Stir well and simmer for a couple of minutes.  Add the clams and cover.  Cook until the clams open (6-11 minutes), shaking the pan occasionally.  When the clams have opened, discard any clams that did not open and add the heavy cream.  Cook for a couple of minutes uncovered.  Add the parsley.  Check the seasoning and serve with crusty bread.


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