Before we start inspect each clam and make sure they are all alive. Any clams that are open, are hard to close or are easy to pry open are dead. DISCARD and keep the living ones.
The first thing we need to do is to scrub clean the clams under cool water. Use a stiff brush if possible to remove any grit.. Check for any cracked or damaged shells. Discard if you find any.
As soon as you clean them put them on a baking dish. Now to crack them open I like to cheat. It's so easy. Preheat your oven to 450f. Put the clams in for 5 minutes. Voila a slightly cracked clam
When done opening the clams adjust the oven temp to 375F, do not turn off. We will need it hot to cook the clams. Unless of of course you're doing it later, in that case skip this step.
They opened up but are still raw. Yes🙌 ,when making these at home keep a close eye on them & remove as soon as they are open. let them cool for a few minutes before we shuck them. The shell is hot.☺️
In the meantime let's prepare our breading. Get yourself a nice bowl. Add the bread crumbs into it
Next comes the crushed garlic. Add the oregano if you are using it.
Now use your hands and moisten the breadcrumbs with the oil. It should hold together.
Once the breadcrumbs and oil is mixed, continue on with adding the pecorino Romano cheese.
Lets finely chop some flat leaf parsley
Add it to the breadcrumbs, at this point as well add a squirt or two of pure lemon juice and mix it in well.
Now let's position the clam w/ its lips facing up & the hinges facing down. Take a sharp knife & carefully insert it in between the lips & apply steady pressure to cut the 2 muscles holding the clams
Don't discard the clam juice. Put it in a bowl. Try to pry it open over a bowl as i did to catch the clam juices. Save it for later
See me struggle, I mean do it again😜 as you open the shells and loosen the clam meat from the bottom put them back on the sheet pan and discard the top shell.
Add some of the clam juice to each clam shell before we stuff them this will keep them moist and tasty. Don't put too much.
See me do it! ☺️
Drizzle some lemon juice on them as well (Optional)
Add 1 Tbs or 2 of clam juice to the bread crumbs too & mix it in well. Take about 1 tbs of the Breadcrumb topping & place over the entire top of the clam. Do not compact it. Just press it on lightly.
All my clams are stuffed and placed in a cookie sheet
Take some more lemon juice and just drizzle some over each clam. Not too much😁
Place your clams in the pre heated oven & cook for about 15-20 min. or until the tops are browned. Shouldn't take long, just keep watch to not over cook them or they will dry out & that is a nono.
When done remove from the oven
Add a squirt of lemon juice to each clam and serve hot. Enjoy