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From Johnna’s Kitchen: Summer Steamed Clams

They can be found all over the beach, and are a staple at many summer parties. They’re CLAMS! This tasty mollusk has over 2,000 varieties, most of which can be prepared many different ways. Some of the most common types to the East coast are Steamers, Cockles, Quahogs, Cherrystones, Littlenecks, Topnecks, and Razor clams.

These tips from will help with the most important part; the prepping!

How to Prepare Fresh Clams

First, scrub the outside of the clams thoroughly with a stiff brush. Since clams naturally burrow in the sand, they need to be purged of grit lest crunching down on grains of sand diminish your enjoyment of this flavorful seafood. Sand should be removed before cooking by covering the clams with salt water (⅓ cup salt to 1 gallon of water) and let sit for several hours. Adding ¼  to ½ cup of cornmeal to the soaking water helps expel the dark matter and sand from the stomachs and also whitens the meat.

If you are shucking your own, the shells will be easier to open if you freeze them for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and let sit a few minutes before attacking the shells. As they warm up, the muscles relax and the shells will open slightly so you can get your clam knife in. Remember to shuck over a bowl to save all that wonderful juice known as clam liquor.You may wish to remove the tough skin covering the neck of longneck clams. Slit the skin lengthwise and remove it. You can ground the skin and add it to chowder or creamed clam dishes.

Clam Cooking Tips and Hints

If clams do not open after cooking, discard them, as it means they were not alive to begin with and may be contaminated with bacteria or toxins.

The smallest clams are the most desirable for eating raw. The larger they get, the tougher the meat.

Extended heat further toughens the meat, so cook gently at low heat settings.

Clams may be substituted in most oyster, scallop, and mussel recipes, and vice versa.


Scrub clams under cold running water.

Place in a kettle with a cup of water, a teaspoon of garlic salt, and (optional) a small bottle of draft beer.

Cover and Steam for 8 minutes or until all shells are open. Discard any clams whose shells did not open during the cooking process.

Serve in shells with melted butter, lemon juice, and cocktail sauce.

From Johnna’s Kitchen: Famous Crab Cakes



Crab cakes are a yummy summer dish that are surprisingly easy to make! Did you know there are two types of crab cake? The two most common styles of Maryland crab cake are Boardwalk and Restaurant. Boardwalk-style crab cakes are typically breaded and deep-fried, and often filled with stuffing and served on a hamburger bun or, most popularly, with saltine crackers. Restaurant-style crab cakes (aka gourmet crab cakes) are often prepared with no filler, consisting of all-lump crab meat served on a platter or open-faced sandwich.

The choices of sides are usually french fries, cole slaw, potato or macaroni salad. Crab cakes can be served with a lemon wedge and saltine crackers; or condiments such as tartar sauce, mustard, cocktail sauce or ketchup. Eating them plain or with a dash of Worcestershire sauce is considered the traditional ‘Baltimore’ way. Crab cakes vary in size, from no bigger than a small cookie to as large as a hamburger.

No matter which way you eat them, we hope you enjoy this week’s recipe!

3 lb. crab meat (equal to 48 oz.)
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
3 eggs, whisked
1½ tablespoons dry basil
1½  tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 cups mayonnaise

Baking pan/sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.

Shape into equal-sized balls, and lightly flatten into patties.

Place onto baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spaced at least ¼ inch apart.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes; 15 minutes per side.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve with lemon and garnish, if desired.

From Johnna’s Kitchen: Easy Penne Pasta with Broccoli

The name for penne pasta was originally derived from the word “penna” meaning “feather” or “quill”.

One billion pounds of pasta is about 212,595 miles of 16-ounce packages of spaghetti stacked end-to-end — enough to circle the earth’s equator nearly nine times. To cook one billion pounds of pasta, you would need 2,021,452,000 gallons of water – enough to fill nearly 75,000 Olympic-size swimming pools!

Thomas Jefferson brought a pasta making machine back with him in 1789, when he returned to America after serving as ambassador to France. It was not until 1848 that pasta was first produced commercially in the U.S., and not until the late 19th century that it became popular.

Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means “to the tooth,” which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.


Easy Penne Pasta with Broccoli


1/3 cup Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 box penne pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste


Bring water to a boil, and cook penne until just under al dente.
Add in broccoli florets, and cook until penne is al dente.
Drain excess water, return to the pot.
Toss with Olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Grate Parmesan over dish before serving, and serve with Italian bread.

From Johnna’s Kitchen: Oven Roasted Potatoes

This week’s recipe From Johnna’s Kitchen is for Oven Roasted Potatoes!

Here’s a few fun facts about the humble potato:

JK-Oven Roasted Potatoes

  • The potato is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn.
  • The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C.
  • Potatoes arrived in the Colonies in 1621 when the Governor of Bermuda, Nathaniel Butler, sent two large cedar chests containing potatoes and other vegetables to Governor Francis Wyatt of Virginia at Jamestown.
  • French Fries were introduced to the U.S. when Thomas Jefferson served them in the White House during his Presidency of 1801-1809.
  • In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

Oven Roasted Potatoes


6 potatoes
Olive oil
Garlic salt

9 x 13 baking dish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


Cut potatoes into small chunks and place in baking dish.
Pour Olive oil into baking dish, and seasoning, to taste.
Coat potatoes with olive oil and seasoning until well-covered.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

From Johnna’s Kitchen: Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

This week’s recipe from Johnnna’s Kitchen is Peach Cobbler! An American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust (usually a biscuit crust) and peach filling, here’s a few fun facts about it that you may not know:



Peach Cobbler Day was created by the Georgia Peach Council in the 1950s to sell canned peaches.
The rough look of the pie gives the dish its name. It looks “cobbled” together.
Peach cobbler was invented by early American settlers.
April 13th is National Peach Cobbler Day!

Peach Cobbler


1 stick butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 jar or can peaches in syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ teaspoon nutmeg

1 – 9×13 casserole dish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (farenheit).

  1. Melt all the butter in 9 x 13 inch dish.
  2. In a bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, the cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, milk, and baking powder.
  4. Pour mixture into the pan.
  5. Spread peaches, including syrup, evenly around the dish.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the entire dish.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F  for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown.
  8. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.


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