Broiled Cherrystone Clams on the Half Shell

Cherrystones (sometimes called “littlenecks”) are hard shell clams from the East Coast. For this recipe, you can also substitute Manila Clams from the West Coast. A trusted source is the Hog Island Oyster Company, of Tomales Bay, on the Northern California Coast. Broiled Clams on the Half Shell make a great finger food for a winter cocktail party, or an elegant appetizer course for a New Year’s Eve dinner.

Preparation time: 40 minutesBroiled Clams

48 medium Cherrystone clams
1 bottle Worcestershire sauce
1 lb thinly sliced bacon
3 or 4 lemons
1 lb rock salt

Preheat broiler. Line a baking dish or pan with a bed of rock salt or crumpled foil to keep the clams steady. Evenly space clams on the baking dish and top each one with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a 1-inch square of bacon and a thin slice of lemon. Broil the clams until they bubble, about 4 minutes. Squeeze the hot lemon juice on the clam before eating.

Makes 8 servings (6 clams per person)

Suggested wine pairing: etoile Brut