The Husband and I used to laugh over one of Pablo Neruda’s poems, Sonnet XX, back when we were literate and cool, that starts off with My ugly love, you are a messy chestnut and eventually gets to our favorite line,
Ugly: Not even the sea contains things like your toenails
Now. Maybe Mr. Neruda had never seen a Trader Joe’s canned cherrystone clam before, because I CANNOT imagine anyone’s toenails could be uglier than these things. If you have evidence of the contrary, please do not send it to me or post a photo of it. I am still in a delicate condition, you see.
I need to eat more iron-rich foods, and had read that clams were high in iron, so I decided to make some sort of clam sauce. I didn’t have a chance to get to the Local Fresh Clammery, so I decided to try these new TJ canned cherrystone clams, which had gotten good reviews on line. Geez Louise, these things were disgusting looking! Still, I soldiered on, as the can said one serving would give me 25% of my daily iron requirement.
I chose a recipe off Epicurious.com—Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Lemon and Clams, available here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pasta-with-Cherry-Tomatoes-Basil-Lemon-and-Clams-104811 I used a parmesan/Romano/Asiago cheese blend that worked quite well.
The recipe was very easy to make, had a very good flavor, but the clams were so tough as to be inedible. I didn’t even cook them for the minute–I just tossed them in the pasta at the end as I was afraid this very thing would happen. The Husband didn’t find it as offensive as I, and started discussing whether the tough, stringy part was the foot that clams use to move (what?!) and it really made me feel quite queasy.
I don’t think you get any iron from the clams if you just chew them for a second and spit them out. I might make it again with chopped clams, or maybe just a touch of clam juice, for flavor.