My daughter asked for the link to my baked stuffed clam recipe as a friend of hers wanted to try it. He made them and she sent me a photograph. I was so impressed with his presentation. He steamed open fresh little neck clams to use in the stuffing mix and kept the shells intact, placing the stuffing on both sides of the shell.
I have some canned whole baby clams that are waiting to be used and thought I would try a little bit of a different stuffed clam recipe and use his presentation and look to bring the cost down a bit.
I have the intact shells from my daughter from when they made clam fritters and she steamed open the clams so I am all set to experiment - with a recipe and with a presentation.
You can start with whole little neck clams so you can get the shells but be careful to pull them out as soon as they open. What you want to avoid is a rubbery clam in the mixture. Or, you can do as I am and use whole baby clams from a can.
The great thing about this recipe is that with less ingredients and getting the canned clams at the job lot store and bacon on sale I was able to make these for approximately $7.82. These clams are an inexpensive appetizer that have a wow factor with flavor. You can use another buttery type cracker in place of the Ritz® like Keebler's Townhouse crackers.
- 1 1/2 sleeve Ritz® crackers
- 1 10 oz. can baby whole clams with reserved juice
- 10 strips bacon
- 2 sticks celery
- 1/2 large onion
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
- salt to taste (be careful because bacon and Parmesan cheese are salty)
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°. Lay the bacon on a foil lined baking tray and bake until nice and crispy - about 20 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels.
- In a food processor grind the crackers until fine and place them in a large bowl.
- Also using the food processor grind the celery and onion. Set a saute pan over medium low heat and melt the half stick of butter. Add in the celery and onion and some cracked black pepper. Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened. About 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool down.
- Take your cooked and crispy bacon and break apart into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until small and add the bacon to the cracker mixture.
- Now that the vegetables are cooled down, add them to the crackers and bacon along with the Parmesan cheese and other dried spices.
- Pour off about 1 tbsp. of the clam juice from the can of clams and dump clams and juice into the mixture. Stir well using your hands or a spoon.
- Stuff each clam with any amount of stuffing you like. When they are all stuffed, place them on a baking sheet.
- They bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 25 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil.
These make for a great appetizer for a party or picnic. You can also serve these as a dinner. I cut the cost down my skipping a few ingredients in my original Baked Stuffed Clam recipe. This makes quite a number of clams if you do them as single shells (a little more than double) and presented as I did in the top photograph, you get approximately 11 - 12 servings. The yield depends on how much filling you put in each shell.
Clam shell stuffies are full of flavor and they re-heat well in a microwave the next day in case you have extra. I did mine on the reheat setting for about two minutes.