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Stuffed Cherrystone Clams

Having a flavorful stuffing is awesome but making sure the brininess of the clam shines through is the key to a good stuffed clam. No need to add salt to this recipe, the sea has provided all you need.

Ingredients:

Clams:
1 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
24 cherrystone clams, scrubbed clean
1/2 lemon

Stuffing:
4 slices thick cut smoked bacon, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1/8 inch cubes
3/4 cup clam juice
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
Grated Parmesan
Lemon wedges


Directions for clams:
In a large pot combine white wine, garlic, red pepper and lemon over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer then add clams. Cover pot and steam clams. As soon as clams open remove them with tongs and set aside to cool. Once clams are cool enough to work with use scissors to cut shells in half keeping the clam meat intact. Arrange clams on baking sheet. Discard any empty shell halves.

Directions for stuffing:
In a large pan over medium heat cook bacon until crispy and some fat has rendered. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and shallots cook until vegetables have softened about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper; cook for 2 minutes then add wine. Using a wooden spoon or spatula scrape all the brown bits from the pan. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine bread, bacon, vegetable mixture and clam juice use a spatula to gently fold together. Spoon an even amount stuffing into each clam shell (about a tablespoon each).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake clam for 10 minutes. The switch the oven to broil and brown the clams for about 3 minutes. Remove clams from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve clams with lemon wedges.

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