To make this recipe, we adapted one that restaurateur Julius Keller, who claims to have invented the dish, supplies in his autobiography. Look for rock salt at hardware stores.
- Rock salt
- 24 littleneck or cherrystone clams, scrubbed
- 8 tbsp. butter, softened
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1⁄4 tsp. paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1" pieces
Move oven rack to top third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Fill a large baking dish halfway with rock salt and set aside. Using a clam or paring knife, shuck clams, loosening clam meat from top shell, and discard top shell, then loosen clam meat from bottom shell. Nestle shucked clams in their shell into rock salt and set aside.
Put butter, shallots, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste into a small bowl and mix well. Spoon about 1 tsp. of the seasoned butter onto each clam and top each with a piece of bacon.
Bake clams until edges of bacon are crisp and butter is golden brown and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.