September in Ohio means clam bake season! It’s always fun to go to a full on clam bake however each year we have a traditional dinner with my mom that consists of just clams and herb bread. The recipe below results in an amazingly flavorful broth that is exceptional when mopped up with the herb bread, also shown below.
Steamed Clams with Sherry, Garlic & Herbs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 Tablespoon chopped shallots
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup dry Sherry
- 1/2 cup bottled clam juice
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- chopped green onions
Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and herbs and saute 2 minutes. Add clams, Sherry and clam juice. Cover and cook until clams open, 5-10 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Add butter to sauce pan and stir until melted.
Serve clams in shallow bowls, ladling broth over the clams. Top with a sprinkling of chopped green onions and serve with bread.
Note: It is always our tradition to serve this meal with the bread below. My mom makes it every year and brings it over straight out of the oven. This recipe is a bit more involved but truly worth the effort!
Provencal Herb and Cheese Bread
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar (divided)
- 3 3/4 – 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of the warm water (105 degrees) in a glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand 10 minutes until mixture is foamy.
In a large bowl stir together 3 1/4 cups of the flour, salt, rosemary,thyme, basil, oregano, sage, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining 1 cup warm water and the olive oil. Stir to form a ball. Mix in 3/4 cups of the shredded cheese.
Turn out on a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease a large bowl with a little olive oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down.
Roll out dough into a 20 by 8 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up from the short side. Fold ends under loaf and place seam side down in a greased 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an additional hour.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush top of loaf with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Bake for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to rack and cool.
Eat and enjoy! Until next time, my friends.