Rosie Hawthorne’s recipes: Keeping it simple with clams

By on December 26, 2015

 Whenever I’m entertaining over the holidays, I always try to keep it simple. To accomplish this, I have a few rules:

  • Never use a party to try out a new recipe. That’s a recipe for disaster. Do what you know and do what you do well.
  • Prepare as much as you can ahead of time.
  • Relax and enjoy your guests.

For any party, shellfish are my go-to food. My steamed, topped, then broiled clams are perfect for any party.

My plan is to steam them a bit in wine until they open, top them with a little bacon, melted butter, some herbs, Parmesan cheese, and Panko bread crumbs. All this can be done in advance. At the last minute, simply run them under the broiler and serve.

 Clams Hawthorne
2 dozen littleneck clams
½ cup Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, for steaming the clams
½ stick unsalted butter
zest of ½ lemon
2 small garlic cloves
1 small shallot
1 TB fresh parsley
1 TB fresh oregano
Parmesan cheese, grated
Panko bread crumbs
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cayenne pepper

Prepare the clams:
Put the clams in a pot, add white wine, cover, and steam for a few minutes, just until the clams start to open.

For the toppings:
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the zest, garlic, shallot, and herbs. Heat through and spoon the butter mixture over each clam. Top each clam with bacon bits, a sprinkling of panko and grated Parmesan cheese, and a dusting of cayenne pepper.

Run the clams under the broiler until the topping is slightly browned. The Number 1 rule when broiling is: Watch it! Never avert your eyes when you have the broiler on. And don’t say Rosie didn’t warn you!

For more recipes, garden photographs, and fun, please visit with Rosie at And if you have any cooking questions, shoot me an email at I’ll do my best to answer.

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