For dedicated viewers of Rhody’s most popular local television program The Rhode Show, you would have noticed a familiar face standing between show hosts Michaela Johnson and Brendan Kirby on a recent March morning. It was our own Chef Max Peterson from Hemenway’s. Chef was there to help kick off RI Quahog Week and naturally they had him cook up some of his famous Quahog Stuffies. As always, Chef did a great job – he’s a natural on the small screen – plus he showed us how easy it is to make something incredibly delicious from Rhode Island’s favorite shellfish. Great job Chef!
According to RI Seafood, Quahogging has a rich history in the Ocean State, employing hundreds of commercial fishers and serving as a treasured pastime for families. More than 22 million quahogs were harvested in Narragansett Bay last year – with demand swelling in the summer months due, in large part, to the popularity of clam cakes and stuffies. But these delicious local clams also make the perfect fare for winter chowders and other dishes.
To celebrate RI Quahog Week, Hemenway’s featured Chef’s Stuffie for the week while his cohorts from The Mooring, Trio and 22 Bowen’s decided to use the Quahog in other great recipes. Chef Brian Pawlak from The Mooring featured a Quahog Carbonara made with with peas, pancetta and fettuccine. Meanwhile, Chef Walter Slater at 22 Bowen’s created Bay Scallop Stuffies made with quahogs, roasted lemon and a fine herb aioli and Chef Kyle Stamps at Trio went with a Quahog Bruschetta with soupy, cannelloni beans, sage, garlic cream, grilled bread. We love featuring the fresh local bounty of our seas and lands and we were proud to be part of all the RI Quahog Week festivities.
Interested in making Stuffed Quahogs at home? Chef Max has shared his recipe below! Enjoy!
- 6 large hard-shelled clams (quahogs), scrubbed clean
- ½ loaf of day-old sourdough bread
- ½ loaf Portuguese sweet bread
- medium onion, finely diced
- ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
- cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lb. ground chourico
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon wet crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
Steam open clams and remove from the shells. Reserve the shells and liquid from the clams.
Process the bread into rough crumbs using a food processor.
Sauté onions, peppers, and chourico until vegetables are softened. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
In a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs and cooled meat/vegetable mixture. Add the paprika, wet red pepper, and parsley and mix to combine.
Strain the liquid from the clams through a coffee filter and add just enough to wet the bread stuffing without making it soggy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Use the food processor to grind the clams and add to the stuffing.
Stuff the reserved clam shells with the mixture and tie close.
Bake at 375ᵒ for 25 minutes.