Stuffed Baked Clams

July 20th, 2019 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Many years ago I worked in a seafood restaurant and the owner was an old gentleman from Maine.  He had cooked seafood his whole life.  He taught me his basic recipe for stuffed clams. 

  • 1 dozen large clam or sea scallop shells, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 dozen shucked clams (chopped) or 4 cans of clams (reserve juice from steamer or cans)
  • 2 tablespoons Herbs De Provence
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • Plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 pound of bacon
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • Paprika

You need to pulverize the bacon into a paste.  I generally use a food processor or a blender until it looks almost like horseradish.  Add butter and the bacon to a large sauce pan and start to fry it out on medium heat until bacon starts to brown a little.

Add onions, peppers and celery and cook until onions are clear.  Add clams and a couple cups of the clam juice.  Reserve some (or you can use water later). 

Add the herbs, bay leaves, salt, lemon pepper and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat.  At this point, you are going to want to taste test the mixture to see if it is salty and peppery enough for your tastes.  Keep in mind that if you are going to use seasoned breadcrumbs, they generally have salt already in them.

Preheat oven to 400

Start mixing in the breadcrumbs a cup at a time until it has the consistency of a stuffing that you might have on say, with Thanksgiving turkey, etc.. 

At this point you kind of have to eyeball the stuffing and make sure it is enough to fill all the shells you have.  Since shells come in an infinite amount of sizes, you just have to guess the best you can.  You may need to add more clam juice (or water) and breadcrumbs to get it where you want.  You can also add more clams if you want it meatier.

Take the shells and scoop them into the stuffing until the shell is full and put on a cooking sheet.  Sprinkle each one with paprika.

Bake at 400 degrees until browned on top.  Serve hot!

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