I come from a large, loud, opinionated, funny, brutal, supportive, critical, and awe-inspiring extended family. The Malarkeys are…as my husband likes to say…”a force”. There are a lot of us, we all think we’re great, we all think the others are even greater, and we love nothing more than getting together to talk about said greatness, eat fantastic food, drink great wine, and reminisce about past meals and past wine we’ve shared. In short..just a little Irish.
The tradition has continued with my first cousins, and as we’ve grown older it’s morphed from shared birthday parties and rival high-school basketball leagues, to trips, housemates, and of course, dinner parties. The eldest of the bunch, Susannah-Maria was recently in town from Wyoming and despite the fact that we had all been together the weekend before, we decided another cousin evening was in order. Being the oldest one in Seattle, and married (gasp!) and therefore presumed domesticated, I volunteered to host. I did however, in typical Malarkey fashion, first assign everyone their duties. Margot brought a gorgeous appetizer board of crackers, cheese, olives, and raspberries, Annie-Laurie was tasked with dessert (Ben and Jerry’s, foolproof), and Susannah-Maria brought steamer clams for the main course.
Being an east coast gal I love steamers. They are easy, indulgent yet affordable, and scream “summer is here”. Paired with some corn on the cob and crusty bread and you have a meal. Just don’t forget all the cousins…
Steamer clams with dill, white wine and butter
Serves 4 as a light supper. Pair with a sparkling wine or champagne.
2.5-3 lbs steamer clams
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
1 TB dill
1 TB garlic, minced
2 TB butter
2 TB lemon juice
- Rinse the steamers with cold water until free of sand.
- Add all the ingredients into a large, lidded, heavy pot and stir to combine.
- Add the steamers, put the lid on, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook 5-10 minutes until steamers are opened up (discard those few stubborn ones that don’t open up versus overcooking them).
- Divide steamers and corresponding cooking broth into small bowls. If you’re fastidious, I recommend pouring the broth through a cheese cloth to catch any last sand parts, although if you’re a bottle or two of wine into dinner, no one will notice.
- Serve with individual butter bowls seasoned with fresh lemon juice.