2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs butter
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
24 clams (Littlenecks or Cherrystones)
1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
Chicken broth (if needed: see recipe)
Salt/pepper (to taste)
Wash and scrub clams.
Place clams into a large bowl and cover with cold water (add ices cubes to completely chill water) and let sit for about an hour (allows calms to rest to make shucking easier).
Shuck clams over a separate bowl taking care to retain all juices. Separate all attachments to shell and place clam halves onto a separate plate (discard other half of shell).
Strain retained clam juice (fine strainer) into separate bowl and retain.
Preheat a small pan (low to medium heat) and add butter and oil.
When butter has melted add garlic and sauté under low/medium heat until garlic is slightly brown and then remove and retain.
Add onion to pan and sauté until onions are slightly browned and then remove and retain.
Turn off heat but retain oil/butter mixture.
Place breadcrumbs into a bowl. Add onions, garlic, and oil/butter mixture from pan and thoroughly mix.
Add retained clam juice to mixture in increments so that mixture becomes fully saturated (taking care to ensure that mixture does not become watery). Note: Small amounts of chicken broth can be added if amount of retained clam juice is insufficient.
Add salt/pepper to taste and complete mixing. Note: Clam juice is naturally salty so take care at this stage.
Using a tablespoon, evenly distribute mixture to all calm halves. Hint: Hold clam half in one hand and with the other hand invert the spoon containing the portion of filling and then scrape the spoon across the round portion of the clam shell.
Dot each filled clam half with a small dollop of butter.
Place filled clams onto an aluminum lined baking sheet (assists in cleanup) and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes. (The oven rack should be near the top of the oven).
Finish by turning heat setting to 'broil' and then carefully watching. The clams are taken out when tops are crisp. This happens quickly so keep your eye on them to avoid burning.
Place on platter and serve.
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