These clams have always been a staple on our Christmas Eve dinner table. My mom concocted this particular recipe, however, I must admit, I've tweaked it a bit over the years. They are also great as a year round appetizer or served with cocktails for guests.
- Approximately 18 fresh Cherrystone clams, rinsed, shucked and roughly chopped.
- (2) 8oz bottles of clam juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5-6 large garlic bulbs, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 cups flavored bread crumbs
- 1 whole lemon
- Healthy pinch of salt (I use sea salt)
- Grated cheese to sprinkle on clams before baking and a drizzle of olive oil
- 1 dozen large clam shells (you can use the shells after shucking the clams).
1. Pre-heat a deep skillet, add olive oil, then garlic. Cook garlic until tender (approx. 1 min.).
2. Add wine, juice from lemon (roll lemon on counter, cut in half and squeeze holding upright into pan to avoid pits falling in). Simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add clams, clam juice and salt. Heat to a steady simmer.
4. Sprinkle in bread crumbs, slowly, stirring constantly and gently until all liquid is absorbed.
5. Spoon a heaping teaspoonful of the clam mixture into shells and sprinkle with grated cheese, preferably Locatelli Romano, and drizzle a small amount of olive oil on each one.
6. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.