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Dec 9, 2009 04:01 PM

best stuffed clams

Hey fellow hounders,

I have this weakness for stuffed clams/quahogs and was wondering if others out there have a similar weakness and where you had the best stuffed clams? I'll start...believe it or not, at Summer Shack. Had some bacon and not too much bread stuffing. Yours?

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  1. Slightly out of the Boston area but the best ones I remember were at the Back Eddy down in Westport, MA. They sausage added to the mix. I don't know if Chris Schlesinger does these at East Coast grill or not.

    5 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      I've been making my own rendition of those babies for years. I use charizo and fresh shucked corn when available. Serve them with Onion Blossom Horseradish Sauce by Rothchild.

      But a traditional clams casino is a very hard thing to find. We used to love the clams casino at The Beef and Ale next to the Wang Theatre.

      1. re: gyppielou

        I see clams casino everywhere: luxury steakhouses (Abe & Louie's, Oak Room), North End Italian-American red-sauce places (Massimino's, Mother Anna's), chain seafood specialists (Oceanaire, McCormick, Atlantic Fish), the 70s-vintage Continental/seafood places (Anthony's Pier 4, The Continental). And Locke-Ober, as I mentioned, though their version is something special: one giant animal, a bit closer to the quahog-y ideal.

        But finding a true stuffie is a bit tougher outside of RI and Southeastern MA. One place I particularly remember from my youth, which is still growing strong, is George's of Galilee, which does great stuffies and also clam cakes, another coastal New England specialty that is disappearing. That place is right on the beach in what has to be one of the last working fishing villages in New England outside of ME.

        I recently had the stuffies (respectable) and the clams casino (very good) at Jack's Family Restaurant in Warren, RI, which is exactly the sort of cheap, smaller-town, family-style seafood/Portuguese/Italian-American joint where I expect to see both. So maybe I'd also look for that kind of place in suburban Boston, Dube's in Salem is a good example of this type, but I don't recall seeing those particular items on their menu (and I always get the excellent fried clams when I'm there).

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I make my own, not a very tricky dish (I admit it's slightly different everytim I make em), and you can keep the shells for future use.....they are delicous and freeze really well, just brush some butter on them and bump em in the good. And I always have ground linguica in mine (mostly because I found a big block of ground linguica in the market, and cut it up and froze it in chunks....perfect)

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I spent my teen years right next to George's at the Galilee Beach Club and Great Island. You have just revived an deep food memory.

            The brats from the club used to send the club waiters next door for clamcakes and chowder.


        2. re: BostonZest

          Definitely Back Eddy's! I think the chorizo makes the difference.

        3. Kind of deluxe, but extraordinary: the Baked Giant Sea Clam "Casino" at Locke-Ober; like a Rhode Island stuffed quahog that went to finishing school. Part of a steal of a deal at lunch, two courses for $19.

          Pops used to do a great, refined stuffie, but I haven't seen it its menu lately. RIP, the Icarus stuffie: that was a lulu, too.

          1. I haven't been there recently, but I did have stuffed quahogs at the Sunset Grill & Tap. They were fine, if a bit more $ than in my youth. You used to be able to buy them frozen at Roxie's in Quincy.

            1. Burke's Seafood (a fish market in Quincy) has some really nice stuffed quahogs.I can never resist them. The owner makes them up fresh and they're stuffed with chopped quahogs and a little bit of linguica. Once I've heated them up at home I add a dash of chipotle hot sauce, and they are the best I've ever tasted.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Pegmeister

                Peg, I like Burkes' as well , but believe it or not my current favorites are from BJ's. Oh my god, I really said that! They're pretty darn good. And cheap. Of course no one can beat my mother's.

                1. re: CocoDan

                  BJ's really? What brand are they? Are they frozen?

                  1. re: Pegmeister

                    They are frozen, and I can't think of the name. But, they only carry one brand. We've used them for apps at dinner parties, and everyone enjoyed them. We keep them in the freezer for use in a pinch. A couple of clams and a salad and a glass of wine (or two), and you have a nice quick (and tasty) meal. Give them a try. They're cheap.

              2. Stuffies were always a bar room staple down in RI. Bought frozen from the local plant, then nuked or baked to order, they were mostly breadcrumbs and clam, but if you added the right amount of hot sauce and lemon juice, they'd form a base for perhaps just one more beer. Sodium levels enough to necessitate additional libations made them a hit with those selling said beverages.
                That being said, they're damn easy to make. Quahogs are about the cheapest clams. I partially steam them, then shuck, chop (or grind) 'em, mix with some decent homemade bread crumbs or chunks, and add what you like. For me, it's sauted onion, shallot, perhaps some peppers - hot or not, a lil garlic, some of the liquor, an egg to bind it, parsley, oregano, then back into the shells. I don't like overwhelming the flavor of the clams, especially if I just got done digging 'em. Tradition dictates that some paprika be sprinkled on top before baking. Serve with a cool liquid of your choice. Narragansett is not unheard of.

                I loved those that Seth Morrison served at the Biltmore in Newton a couple years back. Had a little of the aforementioned linguica or chorico in there. I don't know if he's doing them at Vee Vee.