This recipe is based on a favorite of mine from Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops, and Snails: A Cookbook and Memoir by Howard Mitcham (Parnassus Press, 1990) for jalapeƱo-stuffed quahaugs. Instead of using jalapeƱos, I prefer to use green peppers. I’ve also traded in the stuffing mix for breadcrumbs. 

Serves 3

  • 12 quahaugs
  • ½ onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ pound chorizo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1½ cups clam liquor
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, optional

1. Steam the quahaugs in a large pot for about 55 minutes. As the quahaug meat slides out of the shell, the clam liquor will mix with the boiled water. Remove quahaugs and reserve. Strain the liquor through a sieve to remove leftover sand from the quahaugs and reserve 1½ cups.

2. On a large cutting board, mince the onion and green pepper. Mince the garlic and chorizo.

3. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and chorizo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Remove the quahaug meat from the shells and chop the meat. Reserve 9 quahaug shells.

5. Combine the quahaug meat, breadcrumbs, and clam liquor. Add the chorizo and vegetable mixture. Combine.

6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Clean the 9 reserved shells of any leftover sand by rinsing them in warm water. Once dried, spray with a light coating of cooking spray.

7. Fill each shell with approximately 1 cup of breadcrumb mixture so that it creates a mounded surface. Lightly season with paprika and place on a large baking sheet. Bake stuffed quahaugs for about 20 minutes. Serve warm as an appetizer or as part of a large seafood dinner.