PanaPesca Hardshell Clams

924 hardshell clamsSweet, tender, delicious steamed clams. Having grown up near the New England coast, I know a thing or two or three about seafood. I also know that living here in the inland Pacific Northwest, I can’t find too much of those wonderful dishes out here. Or – not at least that I could afford.

But I made a wonderful discovery the other day. Seafood isn’t something people (at least not me) like to take a chance on. If I think it’s going to be disgusting, what’s the point. So when I saw a one pound package of frozen hardshell clams on sale at my local Safeway for $3.49, I was skeptical. Native New Englanders have long said “bah humbug” to frozen seafood. Longing for something different on my gluten-free, soy-free, salicylate-free diet, however, I gave in and made the purchase. And I am so glad I did!

Quick and easy: one pot, one plate and less than ten minutes meant a fast, delicious meal and easy clean-up. I followed the “Classic Steamers” recipe on the back of the package and these clams were perfect in 5 minutes of cooking time. And yes, it gets better.

They say one serving per bag. That means not having to share. I love that. I also love the 89 calories, .9 grams of fat, the 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 38% of the daily recommendation of iron.

These clams were so sweet and delicious that I needed very little butter on them. They’d be great with a little garlic and tossed with pasta. I’m too lazy for that, though. Boil & eat – no thawing – that’s for me!

I do have one regret: I only bought one bag! Must go back and get more!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

926 steamed clams

Spread the Joy with Salmon Spread!

Tired of finding salmon spread in the grocery store with about 30,000 ingredients most of which include soy and unpronounceable polysyllabic words?  Well, your worries are over.

I got so disgusted with the spreads found in the stores that I decided to try my hand at making my own.  It is all natural and a lot easier than I anticipated!

All you need is a piece of salmon, some cream cheese and a small food processor.

I used store-brand soft cream cheese in a tub.  The ingredients are: pasteurized milk and cream, cheese culture, salt, stabilizers (carob bean and/or xanthan and/or guar gums).  Any time I see xanthan gum in the ingredients it’s a clue to me that even though the product is not marked gluten-free, it probably is.  If you are super sensitive, however, I would never suggest you make that assumption.

The salmon was a nice grilled chunk left-over from last night’s dinner.  I always try to cook an extra piece for salmon salad the next day.

My Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor is the perfect size for this little task.

Instructions:

  • Break up the salmon into pieces and place inside the food processor.
  • Use the low speed until the fish is uniformly ‘grated’.
  • Put one tablespoon (or more) of cream cheese in the food processor.
  • Use the high speed until the salmon and cream cheese are blended.
  • Taste.
  • Add more cream cheese and seasonings if you desire.  Blend again.
  • Repeat until you achieve the consistency and flavor you want.

Really, it’s THAT easy.

If you are gluten-intolerant, try the spread on some rice crackers.  If you are wheat-intolerant, the spread is excellent on toasted Mestemacher Whole Rye Bread.  (The ingredients for this bread are:  whole kernel rye, water, wholemeal rye flour, salt, oat fiber, yeast.)  The bread is a little pricey, but if you hate the wheat-free breads that are out there, it’s worth it!  Note:  It has a slight sour-dough flavor.

This spread is great for breakfast, snacks, and would be great to bring to a party.  That way you know there will be something there YOU can eat!