Grilled Clams on the Half Shell

Thanks to Twitter fwend @Mike624, I tried this recipe over the weekend. It did not disappoint. The bacon with the garlic and red pepper added an interesting texture and spice to the clams. And it also made for a rather nice presentation.

Interesting note: I can’t make clams without thinking of the book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, a collection of twisted short poems and stories from Tim Burton, whom I love. I realize that I’m making clams, not oysters, but the mind goes where it wants to go, right? I share an excerpt of the poem “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy” with you because honestly? Tim Burton’s writing is a heck of a lot better than anything I can come up with right now. Enjoy (the poem and the recipe)!

Ten fingers, ten toes,
He had plumbing and sight.
He could hear, he could feel,
But normal?
Not quite.
This unnatural birth, this canker, this blight,
Was the start and the end and the sum of their plight.

She railed at the doctor:
“He cannot be mine.
He smells of the ocean, of seaweed and brine.”

“You should count yourself lucky, for only last week,
I treated a girl with three ears and a beak.
That your son is half oyster
You cannot blame me.
… Have you ever considered, by chance,
A small home by the sea?”

Not knowing what to name him,
They just called him Sam,
Or sometimes,
“That thing that looks like a clam”

Everyone wondered, but no one could tell,
When would young Oyster Boy come out of his shell?

Grilled Clams on the Half Shell

Clams with Bacon on the Half Shell


8 ounces of bacon (approximately 8 strips) finely diced
12 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves
Fresh ground pepper
50 little neck clams, scrubbed


In a medium frying pan, render bacon over medium heat until golden brown, approximately 5 to 6 minutes.


Add garlic and red pepper flakes to frying pan and cook for an additional minute.

Bacon and Garlic

Remove from heat and add oil and parsley.

While prepping the bacon mixture, grill the clams over high heat. Cook until clams are opened, approximately  5 minutes. Discard any clams that don’t open.


Remove top half of the clam shells and discard. Plate clams in half shell.

Spoon the bacon mixture atop the clams. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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  1. Posted August 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh. My. God.

    Freeze. Vacuum pack. Mail to Wisconsin in dry ice.

  2. @Mike624
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Delish! Glad you enjoyed them, we may do them again Labor day weekend. What changes did you make?

  3. Alison
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    This looks so good! I totally have to get Dave to make these for me!

  4. Posted August 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    @Dan – I’m sure they will go awesome with the red velvet waffles you also requested.

    @Mike624 – All the same ingredients. I just played with the measurements a bit. More garlic, etc. But thanks so much for sharing it. I plan to make them again soon.

    @Alison – Suvid could make these in a jiff! Thanks for the blog love.

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