I'm gonna get smacked for this.
Not for sharing my aunt's recipe, but for showing you her picture. My mother's only sister is not the type to bask in the glow of (loving) attention or praise.
But I can't help myself. Anna makes the most amazing baked clams. They are the first thing we eat at the Christmas Eve dinner table and the most-requested food item when the whole family gets together each August.
What am I supposed to do, pretend that these rituals don't exist? Because my aunt's a little shy?
It's not like she hasn't given me a good head smack before, you know. I can take it.
Besides, I get a lot of requests for my own baked clams recipe. And I'm getting tired of having to explain to people that I don't have one. Come to think of it, I have never baked a clam in my entire life. And if I did decide to bake some, I would just call my aunt and ask her how she makes hers so that I could maybe have a shot at producing the taste that I crave.
These are Anna's clams. Sadly, this August came and went without the annual family weeklong gathering, and so the next chance I will have to enjoy my aunt's baked clams is still another four months away.
I really cannot wait.
Anna's baked clams
2 dozen cherrystone clams, shucked (leave the clams whole)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup clam juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
In a bowl mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and parsley.
Place a light layer of the mixture on each clam in the half shell.
In a separate bowl mix together the clam juice and olive oil, then put a scant teaspoon onto each clam.
Place the clams under the broiler for around 5 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned.