Stuffies

Stuffies-Stuffie-on-plate

recipe courtesy of Joyce Levesque

My husband, Mark, and our son, Bobby, are fans of the New England Patriots.  With football season just underway, I would like to pay homage to the reigning champions by preparing one of Mark’s favorite dishes from home.  A Rhode Island favorite, Stuffies are stuffed Quahog shells.  For all you folks out there who are not from New England; a quahog is a big clam, and until I met Mark, I had never heard of them either.  There are tons of Stuffie recipes out there, and they all vary just a bit, so we are going to use my Mother-in-law’s recipe.

To make a Stuffie, you remove the clam meat from the shell and chop it up.  You then scrub the clam shells (or buy the disposable ones),  and place the Stuffie mixture on the clam shell and bake it in the oven.  However, we live in land-locked Ohio, so we are using canned clams and baking our Stuffies in ramekins.

Once you get the mixture put together, you can either bake it all, or freeze what you don’t need for a later date.  If you plan on freezing some for later; spray the ramekins with Pam, scoop the Stuffie mixture into the ramekins and allow the mixture to freeze in the ramekin.  Once frozen, you can remove the Stuffie mixture and place it in a freezer bag for long-term storage.  Then when you get the urge for a Stuffie, all you have to do is take one (or two) out of the freezer and pop it into a greased ramekin to bake.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/4 cup onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

red pepper flakes, to taste

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

juice from clams, diluted with water if too salty or bitter- use bottled clam juice if not using fresh clams ( I used 1-8 oz. bottle clam juice, plus the juice from the 3 cans of clams)

1 1/2 cups clams, chopped (I used 3-6 oz. cans of chopped, not minced, clams)

1 loaf stale Italian bread, with crust peeled off

pepper

paprika, for garnish

fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Stuffies-Italian-bread

Italian Bread

Stuffies-naked-Italian-bread

Naked Italian Bread

Directions

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter.  Saute onion, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and paprika just until hot and bubbly.  Do not brown the onions and garlic.

Stuffies-butter-onions-garlic-and-such

2. Add juice to the pan, bring to a boil, add clams and turn off the heat.

Stuffies-torn-Italian-bread

3. Tear bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl.  Pour clam mixture over the bread.  Combine the bread and liquid until the bread is soaked and the mixture is somewhat loose.  At this point the mixture can be frozen for use at a later time.

Stuffies-Stuffie-mix

4. Spray ramekins or clam shells with Pam.  Mound Stuffie mixture in prepared ramekin, or on prepared clam shell.  Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Stuffies-Stuffie-on-plate

5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  It will be slightly crispy on top, moist inside.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

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