3 dozen (or 5.5 lbs.) manila, venus, or littleneck clams*
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped*
2 large shallots, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 bunch Italian or flat leaf parsley, chopped
*NOTE: Make sure the clams you buy are super fresh - I've cooked batches that were seemingly fresh, but maybe not, because they imbued a bitter taste to the broth. Also, make sure your garlic is fresh - the cloves should be completely white in color (no green), because the green parts will also make the broth bitter.
1. Place the clams in a colander, scrub the shells lightly to clean, and rinse. It's always best to use the clams on the same day you buy them, but if you need to keep them overnight, place them on top of a bed of ice (do not immerse in the ice) and cover with moistened paper or terry cloth towels. Refrigerate until ready to use. DO NOT submerge in tap water, as this will kill them. Just before steaming, check the clams - if any are open, close them with your fingers, and if they stay closed, they are still alive. If the clam shells pop open right away, then chuck them into the trash cuz they are dead as a doorknob.
2. Heat the olive oil and unsalted butter in a large saute pan or stock pot over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the chopped garlic and shallots and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute until the shallots have softened (do not brown).
3. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.
4. Add the clams and stir to mix. Bring heat up to medium high, cover, and steam for 7-10 minutes or until all of the clams have opened. If any of the clams remain unopened after this time, discard them because, yes, you guessed it - they are as dead as doorknobs.
5. Stir in the chopped parsley just before serving.
6. Serve with slices of fresh French bread or baguette (as is or toasted, according to your preference), which are great for dipping into the delectable steaming liquid.