This classic appetizer of clams on the half shell traditionally requires tedious shucking. In this easy version, we steam the clams first, making it a cinch to remove the top shell. You'll need about two cups of coarse salt to cover the bottom of you baking sheet; it will act a a stabilizer for the round clamshells, keeping them from moving around as you fill and bake them. Feel free to use any kind of coarse salt, including inexpensive pickling salt.
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Total time 30 minutes
Using stiff brush, scrub clams; discard any that do not close when tapped. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, bring clams and 1 cup water to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until clams have opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
Using slotted spoon, transfer clams to bowl; discard cooking liquid. Remove and discard top halves of shells. Set clams in half shells aside.
While clams are cooking, in nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate to drain. Set aside.
Drain all but 1 tsp fat from pan; cook shallot and jalapeño pepper over medium heat, stirring often, until shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Add red peppers and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in bacon. Set aside.
In small nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook bread crumbs, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Add half of the parsley and the lemon zest; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to separate bowl; stir in Parmesan.
Fill large rimmed baking sheet with enough coarse salt to cover bottom. Arrange clams, shell side down, in salt to stabilize. Spoon scant 1 tsp of the bacon mixture into each; sprinkle each with scant 1/2 tsp of the bread crumb mixture. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.) Broil until topping is golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
Makes 24 pieces.
Nutritional facts per piece: about
- Sodium 53 mg
- Protein 3 g
- Calories 28.0
- Total fat 1 g
- Potassium 75 mg
- Cholesterol 9 mg
- Total carbohydrate 1 g
- Iron 19.0
- Folate 2.0
- Calcium 1.0
- Vitamin A 3.0
- Vitamin C 10.0