Monday, July 5, 2010

Baked, Stuffed Weekend

This past weekend was a celebration of two birthdays for me. America's 234th and my friend Sharon's 60th. I love America and am happy to be a part of any revelry that honors the greatest country on earth. And I adore Sharon, whom I've known since 8th grade. We now live about 1,000 miles apart so our visits are few and far between. But this year we celebrated a special birthday in Boston, where so much of our country's history began.

Here we are in our twenties....

And this weekend, during

the first heatwave of the season.

I must say, Sharon looks a lot cooler than I do. Anyway, when Sharon and I celebrate, we do quite a bit of eating. Our weekend was all about the seafood, and if you know Boston, you'll appreciate our adventure. We went to Legal at least twice for snacks of clams on the half shell, fish chowdah, and fresh oysters. Faneuil Hall was around the corner and while we baked in the blazing heat we enjoyed lobster rolls and stuffed clams. In between bites we went on a whale watch and saw at least 30 whales, up close and personal. It was breathtaking. We also took an educational boat ride through the Charles River Locks, and saw a 3D movie at the Imax cinema titled Underwater. We dined in the North End and had to go back for pastries the next day. And let's not forget the room service at the Marriott Long Wharf where we each enjoyed another delectable lobster roll that went beautifully with the complimentary bottle of birthday champagne.
This post is going where, you're wondering? To a recipe I got many years ago when I was married to Lori's dad. His mom is an excellent cook and I never hesitated to ask for any (or all) of her recipes, which I still make and enjoy. While eating the stuffed clams at Faneuil Hall I realized Marion's are better and I'd like to share her recipe. And it's EASY!

Marion's Baked Stuffed Clams

1 can minced clams (about 5 oz)
1/3 cup clam juice- this comes in a bottle, usually near the canned clams
2 T melted butter
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 -1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese (no amount given)
Paprika (no amount given)
Cleaned, empty clam shells

Mix all ingredients together except Parmesan and paprika. If time allows, let the mixture set a few hours in the refrigerator. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Fill clam shells with clam mixture, top with cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. Bake on cookie sheet for 15 to 20 minutes.

If you don't have clam shells lying around, (I usually don't) you can buy the oven proof "fake" ones at the supermarket. Or you can fill small ramekins with the mixture and serve individually. I don't remember how many this recipe makes, but Marion's note on the bottom of the recipe card says she doubles or triples the recipe for a crowd. I haven't made these in a while but I remember the last time I served them I added some hot sauce to the mixture. And the canned clams are fine. You still feel like you're seaside in the summer.