When you want to treat your guests to something extraordinary, make this appetizer with fresh-from-the-sea clams. Bacon and Parmesan cheese are added to the bread crumbs and chopped clams for a rich and savory stuffing.
Recipe from Family Circle
24 small to medium-size clams (each about 2 inches across; see Note)
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cooking liquid
Discard any clams that are cracked, chipped or open. Soak in a bowl of water for 20 minutes to clean.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain.
Once clams have soaked, scrub one by one with a brush to remove any additional sand or barnacles.
Fill a large pot with a steamer insert with 1 inch of water. Heat to simmering, add clams and cover. Cook, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until all shells open up. Take off heat; remove clams from pan, reserving liquid. Let clams cool slightly. Pull off top shell and remove clam from shell to a cutting board. Coarsely chop clams.
Heat broiler. Place 24 clam shells on a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine clams, bacon, bread crumbs, Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir to blend. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir until moist. Spoon stuffing into clam shells, dividing equally.
Broil stuffed clams for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on top. Serve warm.
If you are unable to hand-pick the clams, order a few extra in case some are damaged and have to be discarded.
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 51, Fat, total (g) 3, chol. (mg) 7, sat. fat (g) 1, carb. (g) 2, pro. (g) 3, sodium (mg) 73, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet