Gluten Free Clams and Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on February 25, 2009

I recently went back home to Los Gatos, California and was sad to see that one of my favorite restaurants had closed. It was called Café Marcella and it was one of those places with great food, an extensive wine list, and the perfect combination of hip and fabulous mixed with a comfortable, neighborhood vibe.

One item on the menu that intrigued me for years was an appetizer of steamed clams and mashed potatoes. I would look at it every time I was in there but couldn’t quite decide if it would be gross or amazing.

On one blustery evening I arrived cold, wet and feeling emotionally drained, desperately in need of comfort food. The pasta dishes were calling my name but a gluten reaction was the last thing I needed. I took a leap of faith and ordered the clams and mashed potatoes. It was just the thing to warm my body and soul. It became my favorite item on the menu.

The fluffy potatoes were the perfect gluten-free vehicle for the buttery, winey sauce and complemented the tangy, sweet clams. It was pure comfort in a bowl.

Alas I never asked for the recipe so I came up with my own version.

Gluten Free Clams and Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients

Potatoes

6 large baking potatoes – peeled and cut into cubes
Sea or kosher salt
½ cup hot milk
½ stick butter
Splash heavy cream or half and half – optional

Clams

6 dozen clams
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter – use divided
1 small shallot – minced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 bottle dry white wine

Optional Garnishes

1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 large lemon – grated
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Potatoes

Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add plenty of salt (a big palm full, you want the water to be a bit salty). Cover pot and bring to a boil, cook for 20 -25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain water and return pot to the burner and cook, stirring, for a minute or two to dry out the potatoes. Do this just until the pot stops steaming. This will give you nice fluffy, mashed potatoes. Mash with about 1 teaspoon of salt with a potato masher or hand mixer on low – medium speed. Add hot milk and butter and whip with hand mixer on high until very smooth. Add heavy cream or half and half if using. Note that you may have to adjust the milk to get the potatoes to the desired consistency so best to add a bit at a time until they are just the way you like them. You can keep the potatoes warm by putting them in a bowl over a big pot of simmering water while you prepare the clams.

Clams

Wash and scrub the clams.

In a large pot over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until they are translucent. Add the clams and pour over the bottle of wine. Turn heat up to high, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Steam clams for about 5 minutes or until the clams just open. With a slotted spoon remove the clams from the pot to a large bowl. Discard any that do not open. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Boil the wine mixture for about 4 or 5 minutes to reduce it a little. Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.

Divide the potatoes between six bowls or deep plates. Top each serving with clams. Ladle the sauce over each serving. Top with any or all garnishes and enjoy!

Servings

Serves 6 gluten free people as a main dish.

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer February 25, 2009 at 9:42 am

My hubby loves clams and pasta so this is a great one to try-plus, I live so close to the ocean, finding fresh clams is not a problem.

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Alisa - Frugal Foodie February 25, 2009 at 10:28 am

What a beautiful presentation and a nice break from pasta.

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• friedl • February 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

Sounds delicious, and it looks very pretty on the picture !

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jill elise February 25, 2009 at 11:42 am

Oh, this is a combo I’ve never thought of! Genius!

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H.Peter February 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Now THAT’S a cool version of a couple of outstanding foods.

Pasta Vongole is my favorite when I visit Italy, but I love mashed potatoes! Gotta try it

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Peter M February 25, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Seafood and potatoes are wonderful together…Fred & Ginger, dancing on the plate! The photo is shot really well.

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Absolutely Not Martha February 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

hi! just wanted to mention that I’m doing a post about favorite gluten free food products on absolutely not martha. I’d LOVE to hear what yours is–just leave me a comment (if you haven’t already).

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Absolutely Not Martha February 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm

thanks carol! i don’t think we’ve tried foods by george english muffins [yet].

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Helene March 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

What a great meal. I love clams.

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Sue March 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

I’ve never had clams with mashed potatoes. What a great idea. It looks yummy.

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Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) March 2, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Hmm, I am not much of a fan of clams, but your photo here is simply beautiful!

-Ali :)

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White on Rice Couple March 3, 2009 at 11:20 pm

They need to move Los Gatos closer to LA so we can see you more often. You are the top of the list of people we want to be able to whisk away and travel with. As for this dish, looks seriously tasty. I've been craving clams lately & I like the mashed potato combo. As soon as Diane is back, we are going to make this. And toast to our favorite traveler. Todd.

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