- 18 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 small green bell pepper, minced
- 2 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Step 1
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Step 2
- Place clams, bay leaves and water in a large pot; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the clams until they open, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Discard the bay leaves.
- Step 3
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Canadian bacon; cook, stirring frequently, until heated and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar; transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, chives, oregano, paprika and pepper.
- Step 4
- Remove clam meat from shells (reserving the shells), chop and stir into the breadcrumb mixture. Pull clamshells apart and spoon the breadcrumb mixture into the half shells, packing lightly and mounding slightly (you may have a few shells left over).
- Step 5
- Place the stuffed clamshells on a large baking sheet. Bake until well browned, about 20 minutes.
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