Quahog shells were once used as a form of currency, and their name is derived from an Indian word for wages. No longer used as a form of payment, quahogs are also referred to as hard-shelled clams or littlenecks. Measuring only an inch in diameter, these small clams pack a big taste. Enjoy them in chowders, fritters, or all by themselves. If your day of clamming as rendered a surplus of quahogs, you should cook them immediately.
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Soak the quahogs in a bucket or sink full of water for 30 minutes or longer to encourage them to expel sand.
Scrub the quahogs with a medium-bristle brush to remove any sand and dirt that may be stuck to the shells. Discard any quahogs whose shells don't close when you touch them.
Shuck the quahogs with a shucking knife if desired.
Place the quahogs into a pot and cover them with a couple inches with water.
Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes for quahogs in the shell. Shucked quahogs should simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the quahogs from the pot with a slotted spoon or pour them gently into a colander. Remove and discard any that didn’t open during cooking.