4cupsbread crumbsmade from day-old French bread in food processor
1/4teaspooncrushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Wash clams thoroughly. Pour one cup water in a large pot, add clams, cover and steam the clams until they open (about 15 minutes). Save the liquor (juice from clams). Remove the clams from their shells, chop and rinse thoroughly to remove any sand. Place in food processor and pulse four times.
Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions, pepper, celery, garlic and bacon until vegetables are soft. Add wine and sherry and cook for three minutes. Add clams and herbs and spices and cook for 2 more minutes until heated.
Meanwhile, strain clam liquor through coffee filter to remove any sand. Mix clam mixture, bread crumbs and 1 cup clam liquor. Stir until well combined. Stuff the mixture into empty half shells if eating immediately. (If freezing or making ahead, stuff one half shell and top with other half shell. Place rubber band around the shells to hold them together.)
Dot with butter and bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown on top. If cold, bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until heated through and golden on top.
Adapted from “Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops & Snails” by Howard Mitcham