Monday, September 27, 2010

Baked Stuffed Clams

Here's a pretty simple and definitely delicious appetizer. It would make a great first course at a dinner party, whether you're sitting at the table or passing around on trays during cocktails. And, since every night is a party, right?...whip up a batch for your own personal middle-of-the-week celebration.

Baked Stuffed Clams
Makes 6 servings. (Fewer if I'm at your party...)

For the clams:
24 small clams, scrubbed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Warm olive oil in saucepan; add garlic, red pepper and a pinch of salt. Add clams and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Add water and parsley and re-cover. Cook another 2-3 minutes until clams open. Discard unopened clams. Reserve 1/4 cup of clam sauce.

For the stuffing:
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely ground toasted breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ounces sauce from steamed clams

Detach clams from shells and replace, discarding one half of each shell.

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Spoon small amount of stuffing mixture on top of each clam. Refrigerate for 3 hours covered to allow stuffing to set.

Place clams under preheated broiler for 5 minutes, until a little crust forms. Serve hot.

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