Today on the menu, we have a couple of delicious stuffed foods: baked clams & mushrooms filled with traditional duxelles.
Wheather you’ve got your seafood legs or are still a little wobbly on the fish eating deck, baked clams is the kind of fish dish that works for most. In my take on the popular appetizer/side dish, panko bread crumb absorbs a flavorful broth of white wine, lemon and clam juice, along with a finely diced mix of sweated shallots, fennel, and red pepper.
These baked clams are a staple on my Christmas Eve dinner table. If you love clams, keep them chunky; and if you like the flavor but the consistency grosses you out, chop ‘em up small! My advice: make it easy on yourself, and get the fishmonger to open up the clams and give you the shells.
Duxelles is basic, go-to, traditional, stuffed food 101. A mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter—it’s as simple as that. Duxelles can be used to stuff vegetables such as tomatoes and artichokes, and also with meat, fish, and poultry. For my mushrooms, I bought large stuffer caps, and topped them off with grated parmigiano reggiano.
The duxelles recipe provided is from the Culinary Institute of America’s, the Professional Chef. The Pro Chef is pretty much the bible at CIA. Everything you need to know about the art and science of cooking is in there, and if you’re really serious about culinary arts you should own it. I referenced it all through culinary school, and I continue to do so. With a broken binding and dog eared creases on like every other page, it definitely shows.
Yield: About 20 Littleneck Clams
- 10 littleneck clams, opened
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided into 2 tablespoons each
- 1 small-medium bulb fennel, small dice
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 red pepper, brunoise/very fine dice
- 1 cup white wine
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 8 oz plain panko bread crumb
- Salt and pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Remove clams from the shells and save extra juice. Clean shells and line up on a sheet tray. Chop clams as large or as fine as you like; reserve.
• Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet; add shallots, fennel, and red pepper and cook until soft.
• Add white wine and lemon juice; bring to a simmer and let cook for about 2 minutes. A handful at a time, mix in panko until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add as much panko as needed. Mix in clams and clam juice, and finish with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
• Stuff clam shells with the mixture and bake until slightly dried and browned, about 30 minutes.
Classic Duxelles Stuffing/ Stuffed Mushrooms:
Translated from the Professional Chef, the Culinary Institute of America
Yield: 2 pounds
- 6 ounces minced shallot
- 2 ounces clarified or whole butter
• For stuffed mushrooms: clean mushrooms and remove the stems. Line the empty caps on a sheet tray and fill the mushrooms with duxelles. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the mushrooms are soft. If topping with grated cheese such as gruyere or parmesan, reserve until the end; sprinkle on top of mushrooms, and bake or broil until melted.