Baked Stuffed Clams
10-12 large chowder or quahog clams, rinsed, sand and grit removed
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon clam juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil. Add the clams to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the clams steam for approximately 6-10 minutes, until the shells open.
Remove clams from the pot and let cool enough to handle. Discard any clams that have not opened . Remove the clam meat from the clams and mince finely.
Break apart the clam shells from their hinges. Rinse. Pick 10-12 of the cleanest, nicest looking clam shells and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a sauté pan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the minced onion. Once the onions have softened , add the garlic. Cook the garlic for 1 minute, then add the parsley, bread crumbs, minced clams, lemon juice, and clam juice. Stir until the stuffing mixture is completely moistened. (If too dry, add a bit more butter or clam juice; if too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs.
Lay clam shells on a baking dish. Scoop a little stuffing mixture onto each clam shell. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20-25 minutes, until Parmesan is lightly browned on top.
Cook a few strips of bacon until fat renders but not brown or crispy, chop and mix in with the stuffing. Use crumbled up Ritz crackers for the breadcrumbs. Put a little piece of cheddar cheese underneath the clam mixture in each clam, that way you get a little melted cheese with each bite!
Save your biggest, prettiest clam shells to use for future stuffed clam dishes. To clean, just rinse them off and run them through the dishwasher with your dishes.