Preparing & Handling
- Keep live hard shell clams cold in the refrigerator, covered with wet kitchen towels or paper towels until you are ready to cook and serve them.
- Shucked clams should be kept in tightly covered containers, immersed in their liquor; they, too, should keep for up to a week.
- You can freeze shucked raw clams in their liquor in airtight containers. Most types of frozen raw or cooked clams will keep for two months if the freezer is set at 0°F or colder. Be sure to thaw frozen clams in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
Serve ½ dozen clams on the half shell per person.
Little necks are the best served raw on the half shell. They are also delicious steamed (see steamer clams), used in chowder, or sautéed with sauces or in a favorite pasta dish.
Important: Do not put clams in an airtight container or submerge them in fresh water, or they will die. Never expose clams to sudden temperature changes.