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Feb 7, 2014 07:29 AM

stuffed clam recipe

I always try the stuffed clams at seafood restaurants I go to and I’m ALWAYS disappointed. They are always too bready. Ditto the supermarket ones. My “secret” ingredient is fatty pork. I use either raw breakfast sausage or sweet Italian sausage or most any raw non-smoked sausage. My version uses chopped clams, either whole quahogs steamed open and chopped or chopped canned or frozen clams and clam juice (from the cooked clams).Stew Leonard's sells a nice frozen clam called Sam’s Clams.
I start by steaming the clams until they open then remove the meat from the shell and strain the clam broth through a fine strainer or better yet cheesecloth. I chop everything in a food processor. In a clean, large pot I sauté sausage meat and butter with chopped onion, celery, garlic, dry oregano, black pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and the chopped clams. Cook a few minutes then add Pepperidge Farms or Arnold’s seasoned stuffing mix, grated Parm or Pecorino, eggs (careful not to scramble!), whole butter then as much of the reserved clam juice until it looks like well, stuffing. This is much the same method as making turkey stuffing and that’s the consistency you are looking for. I stuff the mixture back into the clam shells, or aluminum foil clam shells then brush on melted butter and dust with Spanish paprika. At this point you can refrigerate, freeze or bake @ 350 until heated through & slightly browned, about 25 minutes. They freeze well uncooked so I usually make extra for a quick lunch, snack or appetizer. Serve with lemon wedge.

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  1. Clams casino recipes don't have breading in them. Maybe they are not "stuffed", but who wants breading and clams together.

    7 Replies
    1. re: pegasis0066

      Pegasis0066...You must not be from around here! Bake stuffed clams are ubiquitous in coastal New England restaurants, especially in Rhode Island where they are called "stuffies". Almost as common as fried calamari.

      1. re: zackly

        I am on the cusp of New England and yes your average restaurant has way too much breading. Sometimes I swear there are not clams at all in there, just clam juice.

        A new trend I've been seeing in recent years is the clam still attached to the shell, with a very slight sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs and flavorings, and a bit of wine or other liquid just to keep it moist while baking (or even a quick broil). When you go to eat it, you are mainly getting a whole juicy clam. That's how I make them at home now too.

        1. re: coll

          Whole clams that are attached to the shell have to be smallish like a little neck or top neck or they will be very chewy.They are used for clams casino, or oreganata, clams on the half shell etc. The beauty of stuffed clams is they use large chowder clams (Quahogs) which are inexpensive.The smaller the clam, the higher the price.

          1. re: zackly

            Ah, I gave up on big clams long ago, even for chowder. Price is no object since I only get a dozen at a time anyway; cherrystones are usually on sale for around $3 here on Long Island. So much easier to work with. I hate chewy clams with a passion!

        2. re: zackly

          I'm not, and maybe that's good because every stuffed clam I have ever had was disappointing. Based on these experiences, I would say someone that likes stuffed clams doesn't like clams very much.

          1. re: pegasis0066

            Pshaw! I love clams. Never met one I didn't like. Stuffed clams, baked clams, clams oreganato, clams casino, clams on the half shell, grilled clams...I could be the Bubba of clams! clam chowder, clam dip, red clam sauce, white clam sauce, fried clams...

            Thanks for the recipe zackly, did you ever use hot sausage?

            1. re: Jerseygirl111

              Yes, I have used hot sausage, smoked sausage & bacon but I prefer the blander types of sausage to let the flavor of clams dominate. I've also used ground pork from the supermarket but my first choice is breakfast sausage. I buy the 1# frozen rolls so I don't have to deal with the casings.

      2. Thanks for this recipe Think I'll try it out later this week, and maybe keep a few tucked in the freezer as you suggested.

        Also, I appreciate you vouching for Sam's Clams, as I found the product in a Price Chopper (upstate NY) and was wondering if it was a decent product. This post led me to make the purchase, and it made a stellar chowder tonight!

        I knew I could trust Chef Zackly from CH....the internet has given you more power!