"You're making a clam stuffing served in the shells," says Jim Fahey of Forest Cafe in Cambridge. ``It's New England fare with a Portuguese twist. People shouldn't be afraid of the linguica, which is a smoked sausage, and they should try and find the freshest clams they can. The local grocery store will have them. You can steam the quahogs or clams yourself, but you don't have to. But stay away from canned clams." Call ahead to the seafood deli for empty quahog shells.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk (1/4 of a cup) celery, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons hot sauce to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 1/2 ounces linguica, cut into small dice
2 cups (1 pound) chopped clams
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt, to taste
16 clean quahog shells
Hot sauce (for serving)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)
1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the butter. When the butter melts, add the onion, celery, jalapeno or hot sauce, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
2. Add the linguica and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the linguica mixture to a bowl. Add the clams, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, and salt. Stir well. The dish can be prepared up to this point one day in advance; cover and refrigerate.
4. Pack each quahog shell with a quarter of a cup of stuffing mixture. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. At the game, set the quahog shells on a grill rack as far from the heat source as possible. Grill for 20 minutes, then lower the grill and cook for 3 additional minutes or until they are hot. Serve with extra hot sauce and lemon.
ADAPTED FROM JIM FAHEY