For this recipe, you’ll need to shuck, which requires a moderate skill set. Keep in mind: it’s a skill worth learning as being a great shucker makes you a valuable guest at a New England gathering! Our recipe is loaded with clams: 50 clams will yield between 30 to 35 stuffies. Also, they freeze well and are great to have on hand.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
1 pound of Applewood Smoked Bacon
50 Cherrystone, shucked, chopped and juices drained and reserved
3 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
2 sleeves saltines, crushed
1 medium white onion, ¼-inch diced
8 ounces of canned or jarred mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook the bacon on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet until firm but not crispy.
2. Shuck clams, then chop the meat into ½-inch pieces. Kitchen scissors work well for this. Place the clam meat in a large mixing bowl and you can reserve the juice for a future dish, such as chowder stock or Bloody Caesars.
3. Scrub 35 of the best clam shells under cold water.
4. Gently incorporate the crushed Ritz crackers and saltines with the clams.
5. Chop the cooked bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the clam mixture. Next add in the bacon fat to the mixture. This adds great flavor and keeps the stuffies from drying out in the oven.
6. Open the jar of sliced mushroom stems and pieces (the consistency works well with the clams), pour all the juice from the mushroom jars into the mixture, then chop the mushrooms and add.
7. Add the diced onion to the mixture.
8. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine the mixture, which should be the consistency of cookie dough or Thanksgiving stuffing before it has been baked. Pack into the scrubbed clamshells with a spoon, piling high about 1 inch above the shell.
9. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, serve hot with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and small spoon.