1**Note: I had a mix that was called "Clam Dip Spices" from Blue Crab, which I added instead of the oregano. I've listed oregano to use as a substitute.
2Start with a broth: BE AWARE THIS SERVES ONE PERSON as a meal. Two sides for one. Double recipe but be sure to watch for sand inside those clams!
Since I wanted to use a "fishy" type broth and didn't have one I created my own. I took the whole uncooked clam and scrubbed the outside, under cold water, really well to remove sand.
I then put two cups of water in a large Dutch oven (I am doing this to allow the clam to pop and NOT let the sand IN the clam get into the broth. The clam should be able to pop freely and not be completely covered by the broth)
To the water add dill, celery seed, lemon juice, chives, parsley, oregano (or BLUE CRAB’S Clam Dip Spice), pepper, and cooking sherry into a pan.
I placed the CLEANED clam into the pot and simmered until the clam "popped". You can hear it!
Remove clam CAREFULLY as there will be sand in the popped clam. Remove broth mixture from heat.
3Rub-a-dub: I was surprised at how much sand was still in the shell, so I carefully removed it and proceeded to remove the clam and rinse under water. Take cleaned clam and dice and put in hot water mixture. Reserve Shell for baking.
4Stuffing Mixture: I took the pan of broth and clam and added stuffing mix. I tossed well and made sure the stuffing was wet enough to shape. It should be quite wet, but not runny. If you add too much water you can always add stuffing. This is the point where I would add any sausage. I like to use the small cubes of Stove Top, so I can get a more uniformed stuffing.
5Stuff those Puppies!: I then rinsed off the shells, piled the stuffing on and mounded. I then used a nice SMOKED paprika on top. There are spicy smoked paprika's (which I used). There is quite a bit of difference between plain and smoked paprika. Any extra stuffing you can always roll into balls on the baking sheet.
6Bake and Eat: I put the stuffed shells on a pizza pan, the extra mounded on side. I baked at 350 until it was a bit brown but not overly so. All the ingredients are already cooked so there is no need for a long baking time. I say about 20 minutes should do it.
If you do add the sausage, add some time for the sausage to cook a bit, about 8-10 minutes. DO NOT overcook.
EAT AND ENJOY!
7Presentation: This serves ONE person well for a meal. I would add a veggie or a salad.
For the appetizer, one side of the clam should be sufficient for each person.
Clip a fresh dill to go along side and always have extra lemon on hand.