EXECUTIVE DECISIONS: David Burke Kitchen in Aspen Executive Chef Matt O’Neill

baked-stuffed-clams-a“I come from an Italian background, and every Christmas Eve we cook a feast of the seven fishes. This is one of the dishes my mother cooks every year, and it’s my favorite.”

Baked Stuffed Clams
Serves 4

4 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
2 6.5-oz cans minced clams, drained with juice reserved
1 6-oz can crab meat, drained
2 tbs chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Black pepper to taste
4 cups fresh breadcrumbs Paprika to taste
4 clean clamshells
2 lemons, quartered

Method
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
In a large frying pan, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until translucent. Stir in clams, crab meat, parsley, pepper, and breadcrumbs. Reduce heat to low, and slowly pour in clam juice until mixture is slightly sticky, but not wet. The breadcrumbs will continue to absorb moisture, so be careful not to add too much clam juice.
Fill each clean clamshell with mixture, pressing tightly into shell. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and sizzling or warmed through. Serve warm on a platter with lemon wedges.

PAIR WITH: 2010 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis from Burgundy, France. The soil of Chablis is a mixture of limestone and clay laced with millions of oyster fossils, making this chardonnay an excellent complement to shellfish dishes. In addition, the piercing acidity in the wine will help cut the creaminess of the crab filling.

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