Palourdes Farcies

Stuffed Clams

All kinds of clams are popular in France from the praire and coque to the tiny, smooth-shelled clovisse. The simple moules marinière treatment is excellent for them all, particularly the clovisse which would be fiddly to prepare any other way. But larger varieties like the palourde can be eaten raw and are very good stuffed. Try either a snail butter or this mixture of shallots, cream and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 40–50 palourdes or clams
  • 2 shallots, very finely chopped
  • 200 ml(7 fl oz) crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine or lemon juice
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 2–3 tablespoons Gruyère cheese, finely grated

Method

Use an oyster knife or a strong, short-bladed vegetable knife to prise open the shells, inserting the knife near the hinge and swivelling the blade across to free the clam from the shell. Discard any liquid and the upper shell.

Arrange the clams on crumpled foil to keep them steady in one large or several smaller gratin dishes. Mix the shallots with the cream, parsley and wine, and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Spoon cream into each clam shell and sprinkle a little Gruyère cheese on top. Bake the stuffed clams in a hot oven (Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F) for 6–8 minutes until the cream is bubbling. Serve straight away.

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