Enjoying clams without the clam knife: when you’ve got to feed a crowd, this is a delicious way to do it. Cooking clams on the grill is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy these awesome mollusks. Do it over hardwood charcoal to get that true smokey flavor.
A couple of dozen (or more) little neck clams, washed and purged
1 stick (8 oz) of butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
Clams should be stored cold and dry in a fridge until ready to use…not in water, not on ice.
Fill a large bowl with cold water,add sea salt and some corn meal to it, and mix it around. Add the clams to this bowl and let them purge in this liquid for at least an hour. They will suck up the corn meal and spit out sand and grit. After an hour, pour off the water/salt/meal/grit mix, and thoroughly wash the clams.
Start your hardwood charcoal grill and divide it in half: coals on one side, no coals on the other.
While the coals are heating up, grab a disposable aluminum foil tray and place it on a burner on your stove over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic and salt, and stir to combine. Once the butter has melted and everything has blended, bring the tray over to the charcoal grill and place on the side of the grill without coals. It will stay warm.
Once the coals are hot, just place the clams directly on the grill. (Use tongs, unless you want to remove all of your knuckle hair.) When they start to open, carefully flip them over, trying not to lose any of the precious juices inside the clam. Cook them for as long as you like, from raw, to more thoroughly cooked. As each one reaches its desired doneness, place it in the aluminum tray, making sure it gets swished around in the butter and herb mix.
When all the clams have been cooked and are in the tray, serve with a fresh baguette or even over pasta. A glass of great white wine is a must.