Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.
This week, we sail over to the newly opened Farmers Fishers Bakers in Washington Harbor. Using a cross-continental selection of sustainable, seasonal, and local ingredients, the kitchen team here crafts from scratch comfort foods, a panoply of baked goods, and top grade sushi. In between welcoming the first waves of guests and prepping for the holiday season, the culinary crew was kind enough to share the recipe for their Baked Clam Stuffies. Served in their own shells, these seaworthy snacks are perfect for cocktail parties or evenings spent sitting around the fire singing pirate shanties.
Baked Clam Stuffies
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 ounces Andouille sausage, diced ¼”
- 1 cup yellow onion, minced fine
- 1 cup celery, chopped fine
- 1/3 cup green onion, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 slice white bread, torn into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/3 cup crackers (like Ritz), crumbled
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 dash Tabasco sauce
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 16 top neck clams, shucked and chopped (reserve 8 halves of the clam shells)
- 8 teaspoons salted butter, melted
- Old Bay seasoning
- Heat a medium skillet with canola oil. Add Andouille sausage and sauté long enough until fat releases. Add onion, celery, green onions and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and tender. Remove from heat and let mixture cool.
- While mixture is cooling, remove crust from bread and soak in water until the consistency of a wet sponge and set aside.
- Gently place the empty clam shells in a pot and cover with water 2” above the shells. Bring water to a boil and let gently boil for 5 minutes. Remove from water and set aside. This step sterilizes the clam shells to use for the serving “bowls”.
- In a mixing bowl combine chilled vegetable mixture with wet bread, crumbled crackers, parmesan cheese, a pinch of Old Bay seasoning, chopped parsley, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice and black pepper. Do not over-mix or filling will become tough. Gently fold in chopped clams.
- Evenly distribute the stuffing by loosely packing each clean shell (approximately ¼ cup in each). If packed too tightly, the filling will not heat up properly. Place stuffed clam shells on a cookie sheet or shallow casserole dish. Drizzle with melted butter. Place stuffed shells in 450 degree oven and cook until internal temp of 140 degrees, approximately 8-10 minutes, ensuring that clams are cooked throughout.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle each stuffie with a pinch of Old Bay seasoning. Serve warm. Makes eight stuffed clam shell halves.