X-Planations: Chef Peter X. Kelly Shares Clam Recipe For July Fourth

This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group.

Littleneck clams are a "go to" dish for Chef Peter X. Kelly.
Littleneck clams are a "go to" dish for Chef Peter X. Kelly. Photo Credit: Submitted

YONKERS, N.Y. -- With the July Fourth holiday weekend coming up, I'm always thinking about the foods that represent summer: Burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, lobster, and of course oysters and clams. 

I love the brininess of Littleneck clams just shucked and eaten on the half shell or steamed till they just open and dunked in melted butter. 

Clams are the perfect summer treat. When I’m having guests over I always look for dishes I can prepare a little ahead of time and then just quickly finish when guests arrive. I’m also always looking for ways to turn any given dish into something that celebrates the Hudson Valley and adds a little refinement to a get together at my home.

Today, I'm sharing a recipe for Littleneck clams that are steamed ahead of time and removed from their shells. I add the quintessential Hudson Valley luxury ingredient Foie Gras and a dice of prosciutto to add a little elegance to a rather simple dish. Add a spoonful of the brown butter spinach to the plate and you have the ultimate summer time treat for your gourmet guests. Happy Fourth!

Littleneck Clams with Prosciutto & Foie Gras, Brown Spinach


  • 1 dozen Littleneck Clams
  • 1/4 Cup White wine
  • 1 Tsp Chopped shallots
  • 3 oz. Foie Gras, diced
  • 2 oz. Prosciutto, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh chives ,snipped
  • 1 Tbsp. Whole butter, softened

Brown Butter Spinach Puree


  • 1/2 lb. Fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter, salt and pepper to taste

Prepare Spinach

  • Clean spinach and blanch for one minute in boiling water.
  • Remove spinach from water and drain. 
  • Place in bowl of food processor. 
  • Heat butter until foaming and butter takes on a hazelnut color.
  • Add butter to spinach in processor and process until completely pureed. 
  • Set aside and keep warm.
  • In large pot add clams, white wine and shallots. 
  • Place on high heat, cover pot tightly and steam for two minutes or until clams just open. 
  • Remove clams from pot, strain broth and cool. Remove clams from shell and hold in strained clam broth. *Can be done early in day

To Finish

  • Heat non-stick pan on medium heat. Add diced Foie Gras and saute gently until browned on all sides (about a minute). 
  • Add prosciutto, clams, chives and a teaspoon of butter, swirling pan to incorporate.
On warm plates, place a spoonful of spinach puree in center of plate and spoon six clams around plate. Nap with sauce.

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