Thursday, July 28, 2011

Manila Clams with Prosciutto and White Wine

I found some Manila clams at a Korean supermarket in our neighborhood and decided to try my hand at cooking clams for the first time. Manila clams are tiny and sweet - you see them on restaurant menus a lot. I followed a recipe online, but I don't remember where I got it from -- any way, the gist of it is that you cook a bit of prosciutto in the bottom of the pan until it gets crispy-ish with shallots and garlic. Then you add between 1/2 cup and a cup of white wine. I let it cook down for a little while before adding the clams. I think you don't really have to cover the pot but I did, and kept peeking and taking out the clams as they opened up so they wouldn't overcook. Finally, pour the cooking liquid into the bowl of clams, and garnish with fresh chopped herbs. With some crusty bread to mop up the juices, it's a lovely and very fast dinner. Clams only take a few minutes to cook. This could just as easily be tossed with spaghetti for a nice spaghetti alla vongole. It's a little difficult to calculate the weight watchers points for wine used in cooking -- but unless you are simmering it for at least 15 minutes it's fair to assume that it is pretty much the same as if you were drinking it. I read up on this a bit and contrary to popular belief, all of the alcohol does not cook off unless you simmer something for at least three hours. However, it reduces by 25% after 15 minutes and by 50% after 30 minutes. So if you make this and simmer it for 15 minutes before adding the clams, you can enter it into WW as if you used a couple less ounces of wine. Clams are about 3 points for 3 oz. of the edible portion. I figure the edible portion of 4 clams may equal about an ounce, these being small clams, so 3 oz. is about a dozen clams.

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