For David Page, clams and cold beer are synonymous with summer. These steamers were inspired by Target Rock Ale (his local brew) and the calm diggers he sees when he bikes along Peconic Bay. This recipe is best prepared in three batches.
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons minced garlic
Three 12-ounce bottles pale ale
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper
In a large sinkful of cold water, rub the clams to together to remove grit. Drain the sink and repeat the process 4 to 5 times until the water is clear. Add the clams to a fresh sinkful of water, sprinkle the cornmeal over them and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the clams thoroughly.
In a large nonreactive saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add 1 bottle of ale and bring to a boil. Add one-third of the clams, cover tightly and cook over high heat, shaking the pan frequently, until all of the clams are open, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the parsley and season with pepper. Transfer the clams and their cooking juices to a large bowl and serve. Repeat with the remaining 2 batches of ingredients.