Jeff Cruff, Matunuck Oyster Bar, East Matunuck, Rhode Island / June 2013
For 15 to 20 servings
- 50 lbs. quahogs, steamed
- 2 lbs. unsalted butter
- 4 chouriço links, skins removed (see note below)
- 3 red peppers, cut into 1/4" dice
- 2 onions, cut into 1/4" dice
- 1 bunch celery, cut into 1/4" dice
- 1/4 cup cherry peppers, cut into 1/8" dice
- 1/4 cup lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/4 cup celery salt
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cans clam juice
- 2 40-oz. bags plain croutons
- 1 to 2 qts. Ritz cracker crumbs
- lemons, quartered
Shuck quahogs; clean shells; sort by size; reserve.
Trim green bellies from clams; discard; coarsely chop remaining clam meat; reserve.
Heat butter in a rondeau set over medium heat; add chouriço; reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes; add red peppers, onions, celery, and cherry peppers; increase heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender; stir in lemon pepper, celery salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes; add clam juice; bring to a boil; stir in reserved clam meat; remove from heat; cool.
Place mixture in large bowl; gently fold in croutons; stir in enough cracker crumbs to tighten stuffing (stuffing also will tighten slightly as it cools); reserve.
To serve, heat a broiler or salamander; gently place 5 oz. stuffing into each reserved shell; broil until lightly browned; place 1 stuffy on each plate; serve with 1 or 2 lemon quarters.
What to drink: Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Alto Adige 2011 Food Arts Note: The fresh Portuguese sausage chouriço is similar to its Spanish cousin chorizo, which can replace it in this recipe.