LITTLE NECK CLAMS W. PORK, CHILI & BREADCRUMBS

Whenever warm whether hits I always want clams. I enjoy them any time of the year but its something about summer that makes me want to eat them the most. I love them raw with a squeeze of lemon and cocktail sauce, the same as I enjoy a big bowl of linguine con le vongole. Surprisingly clams and pork are a classic combination so when I was making this insanely quick recipe I knew the flavors would fit right in. My neighborhood grocery store always has a great selection on little neck clams, and for recipes on the smaller scale little necks are perfect as they are tender, juicy and cook fairly quickly. 

Toasted breadcrumbs are a MUST in any kitchen and I used them in this dish as a texture element to give the clam broth a little richness. Remember toast unseasoned plain bread crumbs in a dry skillet over low heat until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic powder and simply store in an air tight container.

Little neck Clams w. Pork, Chili & Breadcrumbs

1 pound of little neck clams, rinsed
1/2 pound of slab bacon, cubed
1/4 c. chicken stock
1c. toasted bread crumbs
1 serrano chili, sliced
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 bunch curly parsley, washed dried and chopped 

Rinse clams in cold water removing any excess dirt and discarding any clams that are open. Keep clams refrigerated until ready to use. On a flat surface, cut slab bacon into large cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add bacon. Cook bacon until both sides are golden brown, remove from skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add clams, sliced Serrano chili's and chicken stock. Cover with a lid and simmer until all of the clams are open which should take about 8 minutes. When the clams are all open, stir in butter and add cooked bacon back in to the skillet. Lightly toss the clams and bacon, making sure broth gets in all of the shells.

Spoon clams and bacon into a deep bowl, along with the clam broth. Sprinkle a heavy amount of toasted bread crumbs and garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.