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Baked Clams

INGREDIENTS
24 small to medium-size clams
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS cooking liquid

DIRECTIONS
Discard any clams that are cracked, chipped or open.
Soak in bowl of water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon til crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Once clams have soaked, scrub each one with a brush to remove any debris.
Fill a large pot with a steamer insert with 1 inch of water. Heat to simmering, add clams and cover.
Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until all shells open up.
Take off heat; remove clams from pan, reserving liquid.
Cool clams slightly. Pull off top shell, remove clam from shell. Coarsely chop clams.
Heat broiler.
Place clam shells on a baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine clams, bacon, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Stir to blend.
Drizzle with olive oil and 2 TBS of reserved cooking liquid. Mix well.
Spoon stuffing into clam shells.
Broil stuffed clams for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on top. Serve warm.
Serves 6 to 8


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