Changing the Way RI Eats: Baked RI crabby stuffies
Yield: 8 servings (3 each per serving)
For the stuffies
24 quahog clams
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces lump crab meat
1/4 panko whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay® seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the tomato garlic aioli
1/3 cup olive oil-base mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large pot of boiling water, add clams and cover the pan. Steam until shells open, about five minutes.
3. Reserve a quarter cup of the clam liquid. Discard any clams that do not open. Remove meat from the shells and chop. Avoid breaking any of the shells and reserve for them later.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and butter. Add shallots and bell peppers, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add clams and cook 2-3 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl, combine clam mixture, reserved clam broth, crab, breadcrumbs, Old Bay, parsley, lemon, egg, salt and pepper.
6. Stuff each reserved clam shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture. Placed filled clam shells on a baking sheet with room between and bake 15 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.
7. For the aioli, whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate. Serve with stuffies.
Chef's note: Stuffies are to Rhode Islanders what crab cakes are to Marylanders, what key lime pie is to Floridians, and what Taylor ham is to New Jerseyians – it’s a local thing. Rhode Islanders use Quahogs, a hard clam, abundant throughout the waters near the Ocean State.