My Recipe Box

Steamed Clams with Fried Bread and Bacon

RATE IT

Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

  • by Patrick McGrath from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

This hearty starter delivers big flavor on all fronts: Once you eat the tender clams, croutons, and bacon, there’s still the gently spicy broth left to enjoy. To make it a light dinner, serve with a green salad.

  • 1-1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups crustless, hand-torn rustic country white bread (about 1/2 -inch pieces)
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 32 hard-shell clams (littlenecks or cherrystones), scrubbed
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Heat 1 cup of the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bread, in batches if necessary, and fry until crisp and golden-brown, about 4 minutes per batch, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, transfer the croutons to a plated lined with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Pour the oil left in the pan into a heatproof container, let cool, and discard.

Cook the bacon in the skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until light brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, pepper flakes, and oregano. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until the wine reduces by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Stir in the Tabasco.

Return the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the clams and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally until the clams begin to open, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved bacon and half of the parsley. Continue to cook, covered, until the clams have opened fully, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Remove the clams from the broth with a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to large serving bowls. Season the broth to taste and ladle it over the clams. Garnish with the croutons and the remaining parsley.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 420; Fat (g): 29; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 21; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18; Carbohydrates (g): 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 650; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a GREAT recipe. I am a shell fisherman and I am always looking for new ways to cook up clams and oysters. This is a keeper. I have one suggestion/change. There is no reason to fry the bread. Just toss it in olive oil and bake the croutons. Also, I keep the crust on. It adds a chewy dimension to the bread. Other than that, make it!

header

MEET THE CHEFS FROM SEASON ONE

Cookbooks, DVDs & More