Frozen Cherrystones

Bucksaw

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A friend came over a couple weeks ago with a cooler filled with cherrystone clams that he dug that morning. Three of us ate as much as we could raw and I got about 20 lbs or so that my friend suggested I freeze whole. I would like to use some of them to make some chowder and wasn't sure if I should cook them first or shuck and add the clams raw? Not sure if it matters either way, any suggestions?
 

Meatseeker

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Not sure about freezing them whole.... probably be fine.

For chowder the very best way is to take a a big batch of cherry stones (live and closed). Put a large stock pot on the stove. Add about 1/8" layer of olive oil on the bottom. Turn the stove on a low setting. Add and minced onion and 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic. Once the garlic and onions start to simmer, add all of the clams (rinsed, live, and with shell on) and cover. Simmer until all the clams open up. Remove clams from the open shells. The remaining clams and all the "clam liquor" will make the best stock for chowder. Clam liquor is the juice the clam leaves after simmering and opening up. From this point use the clams and liquor for whatever your favorite chowder recipe is. For whatever recipe you decide make sure you let the chowder sit for 24 hours in the fridge before serving. This allow the clam liquor to soak into the potatoes and obtain maximum flavor.

Next time you get a big batch... don't freeze the whole live clams. Make your stock (clams and clam liquor) and then freeze the stock. Its easy to make and it is phenomenal.
 

DLuke

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I'd steam them till they open just barely....making them about 50% cooked. Shuck and freeze. Do it all the time, stockpiling for winter linguini and clam sauce.... Only steam till you can open them without too much trouble. That way they can finish cooking in the sauce or chowder and don't turn to rubber from overcooking....
 

Bucksaw

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Thanks for the advice. Next time I'll be prepared, this time was unexpected, I thought he was going to have about 20 - 30 clams not going to give me 20+ lbs.
 




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