I had a blast making these because my sous chef and I worked together to devise and cook this meal. We also got a little first hand lesson into why you don’t eat clams that don’t open when they boil. I always knew cognitively that it meant the clam was dead and no good…but this was the first time I ever experienced it, and we are pretty sure it pooped in the water (after all the other clams had opened and been removed…worry not). Since my wife doesn’t tend to like clams/oysters/mussels, I had picked her up some Sea Scallops…and once she saw what happened with the dead clam, the sea scallops became an even bigger necessity (hooray for thinking ahead)!
As for the idea to mix the ricotta and the seafood, I want to provide context before offending anyone with an Italian grandma! We remembered back to our Pesto Seafood Lasagna and how those flavours worked together, and that was the driving force to try this. We knew there was a very real risk, but we pressed forward anyway…and by the end, all the clams were gone, and we had happily full bellies!
We served our clams as an entree over couscous with Roasted Asparagus, but they’d also make for a solid Hors D’Oeuvre!
Time: 45 Minutes
- Ricotta Cheese
- Black Pepper
- Line a baking sheet with some foil. No need to oil spray this time for a change!
- Begin to boil some water in a pan (preferably with a large diameter and sides that aren’t too tall…surface area is your friend here).
- Rinse your clams under some cold water, and use your fingers to remove as much sand/grit as possible.
- Carefully (we used tongs), place your clams in the boiling water, and cook until they open wide! Any clams that do not open should be discarded.
- When your clams have opened, leave them in the water for another minute or two, and then use your tongs to remove them and transfer them to a bowl to cool briefly.
- Use a small fork to remove the clam meat from your shells, and place the clams on a cutting board. Chop them into small bits, and transfer them to another bowl.
- Unhinge your shells, and discard the side with the muscle where the clam attaches to the shell. Then, arrange your shells on your baking sheet.
- Scoop some ricotta into your chopped clam bowl, zest in some of your lemon, and dice and add your chives. Stir everything together to combine.
- Use a small spoon to scoop the filling into your shells, and then top them with a little panko.
- Transfer your baking sheet to your broiler, and broil on low for about 8-10 minutes to heat everything back up and to brown your panko.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!