Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


The Port Hunter’s Hickory Grilled Clams with Jalapenos & Preserved Lemons


  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen, enough to serve 4 as an appetizer
  • Equipment: A shellfish grilling rack; hickory wood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained.
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For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup diced preserved lemon (see Step 1, below)
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 24 fresh littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Step 1: Finely chop the preserved lemons, discarding any seeds or mushy pulp. (Scrape out the latter with the side of your knife.) You need about 1/2 cup. Place it in a bowl with the jalapenos and olive oil. Stir to mix. The recipe can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead to this stage and stored in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

Step 3: Shuck the clams, taking care not to spill the juices. Arrange the clams on the shellfish rack and add a spoonful of preserved lemon vinaigrette mixture to each.

Step 4: Toss the wood chips on the coals or place in your gas grill’s smoker box.

Step 5: Place the rack with clams on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 1 minute. (This holds in the smoke.) Open the grill and continue grilling until the clam juices bubble and the bivalves are just cooked, 2 minutes.

Step 6: Transfer the clams to a platter or plates. Sprinkle with chives and serve at once.