Family Recipe: Baked Clams

Do you have a food memory that keeps haunting you?  You know something that you had as a kid that was so good that you kept talking about it for ... I don't know... something like 20 years or so?  Well, My Husband has been talking about these Baked Clams his mom made him when he was much younger for what seems like a lifetime. 
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Unfortunately, I had never had them and every time we would go to a restaurant and their menu had something like Clams Oreganata on it... My Husband would look at it and think maybe this would be the one's he remembered.  Unfortunately, that was not the case. 
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Luckily, My Mom-in-Law had these fabulous clam shells still hanging around and split them up between me and My Sis-in-Law.  I also got a copy of the recipe... it just took me awhile to finally make them.

Why-oh-why did I wait?  Seriously?  The recipe is relatively simple and yet so hard to stop eating once you taste it.

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After making a nice thick sauce from a roux, you add a combination of chopped cooked shrimp, minced clams and flaked fish.  All of this seafood goodness will get spooned into those clam shells and topped with seasoned bread crumbs and butter - a perfect way to add nice texture to the creaminess of the seafood mixture.
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The only changes I would make next time would be to put a bit less of the seafood mixture in each clam shell.  Having never seen or eaten this recipe before, I wasn't sure how much to put in each one.  Also, My Husband said the bread crumbs were usually more coarse than the ones I used, so I may do a combination of seasoned bread crumbs along with some Panko bread crumbs to add a bit more texture.

Even without those changes, I am so happy I finally made this and got to taste it for myself!  The combination of all the seafood with the sauce simply melted in my mouth.  This is one of those rich, decadent appetizer recipes that you would want to serve to guests.  It comes out of the oven looking impressive, and yet, it's very easy to prepare. 

Baked Clams
Soure:  MomK

  • 2 cans of minced clams, drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 7 ounces frozen shrimp, cooked and coarsely chopped
  • 6-8 ounces fish fillet (either sole or flounder), baked and then flaked with a fork
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sherry (dry) or dry white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder - to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

  1. Prepare sauce with margarine, flour and milk added to the clam juice (should make approximately 2 cups of liquid).  Once the sauce is thickened, add the chopped shrimp, minced clams, flaked fish and seasonings.  Add sherry (or wine) and cook for about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Fill each clam shell evenly and then top with bread crumbs and dot with pieces of butter.  Broil for about 5-8 minutes - until browned and bubbly.
  3. Serve hot.

Note:  This recipe will freeze well.  Prepare the filling and put into clam shells and freeze - just be sure to let the clam shells come to room temperature before putting into a hot oven as they may crack.  You could also freeze the seafood mixture in a bowl and then fill the clam shells when you are ready to bake them.  Then, add the bread crumbs and butter just before baking.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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well I also have a food that I remember and when I smell the same food I remember my childhood, good for you that your mother in law gave you a copy of that recipe, my mother is a great cook and she thought me some of her recipes. And whenever I want to reminisce my childhood I just go to my kitchen and cook =)
Nicole said…
Yum! I love seafood!
Karen said…
Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm glad to have found yours :) I grew up in New England and my mom would make stuffed quahogs... similar to this. Mmm, I want some now - so good!

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