By Lori Ross created for Cooking Challenge Six – Quick and Pretty Appetizers for a surprise cocktail hour guest from non-refrigerated ingredients we usually carry aboard from Bernadette Bernon, Newport, RI.
While whole clams are usually served at a Spanish tapas bar, I rarely have fresh clams on the boat, so these clam bites or clam bread make a more convenient version of the classic garlic clam tapas.
4 tbsp olive oil
4 small (6-1/2 ounces) cans minced clams, drained (make sure to save clam juice)
1/4 cup beer, wine OR reserved clam juice
1 small sweet onion, minced or 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion or 1 tsp onion powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of each dried herb: parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary (optional)
1/8 tsp ground red pepper or crushed red pepper
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 sliced baguette
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Turn oven to broil. Sautee onion and garlic in oil until golden. Add beer or clam juice, parsley, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened, then add clams, bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Add clam juice or beer if mixture appears too dry. Spread clam mixture on baguette slices. Top with grated parmesan and broil until bubbling. Serve hot.
If you don’t have an oven, just microwave or sauté the clam mixture until hot and serve in a ramekin or shallow bowl, letting guests spread it on their own baguette slices with a spoon. While it won’t look as pretty, it will taste just as good.
CLAM CASINO BITES: Add 1 /2 cup chopped real bacon bits (unrefrigerated jarred or bagged like Hormel or other brands) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to recipe. Proceed with recipe as above.
STUFFED CLAMS: If you have clam shells, feel free to stuff with this mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until hot.
HOT CLAM DIP IN BREAD BOWL: Slice top from the round of bread and reserve. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut chunks out the center of the bread, leaving 1 inch of bread around the interior, to form a bowl for the clam dip. Reserve bread chunk innards and lid to use as dippers. Make clam dip and reduce bread crumbs by half. Heat (as described above) and pour into bread bowl top with Parmesan cheese and heat at 350 in oven until bubbling (10-15 minutes).
As your guests consume the dip from inside the bowl, you can tear or cut off parts of the bowl itself. The bowl is the best part, since it is soaked with that great dip on the inside.