Locals Seafood recently launched their inaugural Winter Seafood Jubilee, a series of North Carolina winter seafood-centric events and promotions taking place in NC’s Triangle region throughout February.
The Winter Seafood Jubilee kicked off this week online with the “3 on 3 at the Winter Seafood Jubilee,” taking place during the first three weeks of February. Locals Seafood tasked me as one of the social media foodie gurus to participate in a challenge along with Kim Alexander (@trianglelocalista) and Johanna Kramer (@durhamfoodie). Each guru is responsible for one week in February and given three different species of winter seafood.
Honestly, I was biting my nails in anticipation as I drove to the Raleigh State Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I don’t have much experience cooking seafood and I like to leave that daunting task to the professional chefs. Of course, I was given clams, monkfish and hybrid striped bass, three types of seafood I’ve never cooked before. My challenge: Prepare each seafood differently and chronicle my culinary journey via three social media platforms. What the heck was I going to make?
Luckily, I was invited to a Super Bowl Party hosted by four professional chefs. I brought up my seafood challenge and asked for their advice. Chef Dean Thompson of Flights suggested I cook the clams in beer. His number one rule that he repeated over and over was, “Make sure you wash the clams!” He was right because those suckers were definitely sandy!
Once the clams were thoroughly washed, it was time to start cooking. Chef Dean suggested I prepare the clams in a garlic and beer broth. Any light beer will do but to stick with the local NC theme I suggest cooking with the Foothills Brewing Torch Pilsner, brewed in Winston-Salem, NC.
NC Clams in Garlic and Beer
2 bottles of Foothills Torch Pilsner
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 green onion, chopped
3 tbsp butter
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Into a large pot, pour beer and add smashed garlic, green onion, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Once boiling, add the clams, turn heat to medium-high and cover. As the clams begin to cook the shells will open. Clams are done when all the shells are opened wide. If any clams do not open with the others, discard them.
To my surprise, the clams only took about eight minutes to prepare. What a fast dish, perfect for an appetizer or quick dinner. The clams were a hit amongst my friends, too. My only regret was that I didn’t have more! I will definitely be purchasing Bogue Sound clams this winter from Locals Seafood.
Be on the lookout for two new recipes coming up this week. Thanks again to Locals Seafood for getting me out of my comfort zone to cook some delicious NC winter seafood.