Stuffies with Bacon and Chili
by Kristin Griffin
- 5 pounds of quahogs, scrubbed
- 8 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Get out your biggest pot, fill with your scrubbed quahogs and pour in 2/3 cup water. Set over medium high heat, cover and steam until the clams have opened—about 15 minutes or so. Toss any that don’t open and save the broth.
While the steamed clams cool, sauté bacon pieces in a medium skillet until crisp. Cover partially with a lid if you’re concerned about splatters. Set the cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain. Pour off a little bit of bacon fat into an empty bean can if it seems like a lot to you, but make sure there’s still enough left to coat the pan.
Lower the heat to medium and cook the onion, jalapeños, pepper and garlic in the bacon fat until softened, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Back to the clams. Remove meat from shells and chop. You’re looking for a chunky, firm consistency. Anything mushier and the clam will get lost. Separate the empty shells and scrub clean.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs into the reserved clam broth. (You should have a cup or so of liquid. No big deal if you have less. Just top it off with water.) Pour over the breadcrumbs, sautéed vegetables, chopped clams and bacon. Give everything a gentle stir until evenly incorporated. Season to taste.
Form little patties with the clam mixture in your hands and press lightly into empty half-shells. Line stuffed quahogs up on a baking tray. Dot with butter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the lids are browned and the kitchen smells good.
Serve from the baking tray with lemon slices.