Thursday, November 12, 2009

Food: Calico Clams

One of my *favorite* things in the entire world is appetizers. Baked, cold, frozen, room temp, fried... pretty much anything that is bite-size and can be eaten without using utensils, if at all possible. I love hors d'eouvres, I thrill to tiny, kid-sized bites, I get ecstatic over finger food. Do you get the picture? It's my not-so-secret weakness. In fact, I recently told my husband that I'm going to be making appetizers for dinner for the rest of the month. There are two reasons: One, we're already planning on a huge, regular meal for Thanksgiving, so why not spice it up with some small meals before then? Two, I want to start trying out possibilities for parties and potlucks, and isn't it better to test it out at home *before* you have to bring the dish to a big group of people? Joel is now my guinea pig and assistant taste-tester. And our first big success this week was an adaptation of a recipe I found in a 2009 Taste of Home publication called "Appetizers for Every Occasion." (It's also my new favorite "cookbook" by the way.)

Here it is!

Calico Clams
- 3 cans (6.5 oz each) minced clams
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella
>>> Note: I substituted creamy havarti for the mozzarella.
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar
>>> Note: I substituted colby-jack for the cheddar.
- 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 3 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
>>> Note: Being without bread crumbs, I instead crushed some seasoned croutons and also added about 2-3 tsp. of the garlic-lemon-rosemary "Crusting Blends" seasoning. Yum!
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp *each* diced onion, celery, and sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green-- any combo)
- 1 garlic clove, minced

1) Drain clams, reserving 2 Tbsp. juice. (You can freeze the rest of the juice and use for making clam chowder, later.) In large bowl, combine clams and remaining ingredients; stir in reserved clam juice.

Option 1: Spoon into small ramekins and place on baking sheets; bake at 350-F for 10-15 minutes or til heated through.

Option 2: Spoon into hollowed cremini (brown or small portabella) mushroom caps and place on baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper; bake at 350-F for 10-15 minutes or til heated through.

This concoction was a huge hit at our house, but we prefer the idea of Option 2 above; scooping the clam mixture out of the ramekins was just extra work (and made for extra clean-up, too!). Can't wait to have this one again!

1 comment:

  1. I have another great finger food for you which is super tasty, easy and quick!

    Three basic ingredients:
    -Jalepeno peppers (fresh)
    -Cream Cheese

    1. Rinse the pepers. Halve and de-seed and de-vein them.
    2. Take your cream cheese (softened) and spoon into jalepeno halves.

    3. Wrap bacon around jalepeno halves and secure with a toothpick. (I cut my bacon strips into quarters. It's just enough to wrap around)
    Place on baking sheet

    4. Bake at 350 until bacon is cooked through (20 minutes or so) and serve.

    I brought these to a party and they were gone in no time. Enjoy!!!

    ***Just a note you might want to wear rubber gloves when you de-seed the jalepenos and DO NOT touch your face or eyes!