Quahogs, pronounced "kwo-hogs," are a type of hard-shell clam harvested primarily in the Atlantic Ocean waters off the lower New England coast from Cape Cod to the top of New Jersey. The clams, which range in size from 1-inch Littlenecks to 2-inch Chowders, are abundant in Rhode Island, where they are featured in some of the state's signature dishes such as "stuffies" (baked quahog), chowder and clam cakes. One of the simplest and freshest ways to prepare quahog meat is steaming; steamed quahogs can be served in the shell or shelled and used in recipes.
Rinse the live quahogs in cold running water thoroughly. The shells will close tightly; discard any that remain open when rinsed.
Add about 1 inch of white wine or water to a large pot, then add the rinsed quahogs.
Cover the pot and cook over high heat until the liquid boils. Check frequently. The quahogs are done when the shells are wide open.
Drain the quahogs, saving the broth. Discard any quahogs that remain closed. Cooked quahogs can be served right away, or cooled, removed from the shell and chopped or ground to add to a recipe for clam cakes, chowder or stuffies.
Serve steamed quahogs with melted butter and lemon. Three pounds of quahogs serves four people.
Do not overcook quahogs. Once most of the shells are open, remove the pot from the heat. Do not eat quahogs that remain open before cooking or do not open after cooking.