Cajun Clams

Yield: 12 servings

1 small yellow onion, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
1 1/2 stalks celery, minced
1/4 pound butter
2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Cajun/Creole shellfish seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Paprika, for color
Clam shells

Mince onion, green pepper and celery; set aside.

Melt butter over high heat in frying pan. Add vegetables and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir periodically with a wooden spoon. Add clams, including broth, and stir. Season with Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning and onion powder. Taste, adding salt and pepper or more Cajun seasoning as desired. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes.

Add Italian bread crumbs. Place in clam shells or shells purchased in a gourmet store. Add paprika for color. Place under broiler 5 minutes or until browned.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

NOTE: You can do everything ahead except the broiler step and freeze the clams, covered tightly with foil, until the day you serve. Defrost in refrigerator and broil at the last minute.

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