Thursday, November 10, 2011


A staple of New England summer cuisine, these stuffed clams are known regionally as Stuffies.  This stuffed clam recipe is a first for me.  It is my first stolen non-recipe.  What?  It was inspired by a chef who touts a "No Recipe Lifestyle".  Fresh ingredients and sound culinary techniques provide the foundation for his dishes.  I soon found out that I was on my own and was forced to improvise.  The results were fantastic.

Local fresh clams, right from the sea
I bumped into Chef Todd Mohr online when doing a search for "What to do with 200 fresh clams".  We had an exceptional morning of clamming and I wanted some inspiration, I wanted to do something besides the same old steamers and chowder.  I also love classic stuffed clams and always wanted to make this dish.

Plan on shucking about 3 raw clams for every 1 stuffed clam
Given the fact I had no recipe to follow, I was forced to carefully review the techniques.  I will say there are a few things key to the success of this dish.  First, start with the freshest clams you can get.  Second, plan on shucking about 3 raw clams for every 1 stuffed clam.  Third, lightly pulse the raw clams in a food processor prior to mixing into the stuffing.  This breaks down the largest chewy parts of the clams and better incorporates the clams into the mix.

Clam broth, lightly minced chowder clams, and raw whole shucked clams.
I used the raw whole shucked clams for the stuffies.
Prep Time:  About 1 hour (Includes shucking clams time)
Total Time:  About 2 hours
Servings:  33 clams


100 fresh clams
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, basil, and oregano (to taste)
Thin sliced bacon (optional)


  • Shuck 100 or so clams.  Clean and reserve a third, or 33 of the largest shells.  Separate the clams from the juice.  Reserve the clam juice for another use.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
  • Lightly pulse the clams in a food processor - do not  over process.
  • In a large sautee pan over medium heat, melt the butter - do not brown the butter.
  • Add the clams to the pan.  After a few moments the clams will release much of their own moisture and will begin to poach in their own liquid. Watch the temperature to ensure the clams do not boil or simmer, but continue to poach.
  • Stir in the panko bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese.  This is the thickener and will soak up most of the liquid.
  • Taste the mixture in the pan, and add fresh ground black pepper and other seasonings to taste.  Once the seasoning is just right, add the fresh chopped aromatic parsley.
  • Place the empty shells on a baking sheet and evenly divide the stuffing mixture into the shells.  You can place a small piece of raw bacon onto each clam if you wish. 
  • Place clams in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until clams are bubbling around the edges and the bacon, if used, is cooked through.

You can also freeze these stuffed clams for cooking at a later date.  Just extend the time the clams are in the oven to 30-35 minutes or so.

Recipe Links:

You will need to learn how to shuck clams, here's how.

Here is the original recipe video which inspired this post.

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