These deviled clams are stuffed clams filled with a mixture of bread crumbs and minced vegetables. A dash of Tabasco and some crumbled bacon provide the finishing touch. The stuffed clams are broiled to golden brown perfection.
Fresh clams are cooked then filled with a mixture of the clams, bread crumbs, bacon, and seasonings. This is an excellent appetizer to prepare for a cocktail party.
- 2 dozen cherrystone clams (or littleneck clams)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 green bell pepper (minced)
- 1 small onion (minced)
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 4 slices bacon (partially cooked and diced)
- Garnish: minced fresh parsley, pinch of paprika, and lemon wedges
- Scrub the clams thoroughly and then put them on a rack in a large kettle or stockpot with 2 inches of water in the bottom. Or put the clams right in the water. Cover and heat over medium-low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the clams open. Drain and discard any unopened clams.
- Open and separate the top and bottom shells. Slice a knife under the clams to remove them from the shell.
- Rinse the shells and choose the 24 best looking shells for serving. Set the shells aside.
- Mince the clams with a knife or pulse a food processor and transfer to a bowl.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green bell pepper and onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add the bell pepper and onion to the minced clams along with the bread crumbs, ground thyme, and Tabasco sauce.
- Heat the broiler.
- Arrange the clam shell halves in a shallow baking pan; fill shells with the minced clam mixture and sprinkle each with diced bacon.
- Place under broiler and broil under medium heat until browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley and paprika.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
What are Cherrystone Clams? Cherrystone clams are a bit larger than littleneck clams and they can be used interchangeably. Cherrystone clams average about 6 to 10 clams per pound and while littleneck clams average 8 to 12 clams per pound. Use either one in this recipe. Whether you choose the smaller littleneck or cherrystone or the larger top neck or quahog, they are all quahogs (pronounced co-hog). The name refers to the size of the clam, not the species.
Add a few extra clams to the pot to make up for any that won't open.
For larger appetizers, use top neck clams.
Omit the bacon and sprinkle the stuffed clams with grated Parmesan cheese before broiling.
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