Maraschino Clams on a Half Shell

Main courses

3 tablespoons butter
Half a large sweet yellow onion, diced
Half a green or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce jar red maraschino cherries (no stems) 
2 tablespoons heavy cream
24 cherrystone clams (in shell)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
6 slices of cooked bacon


Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, crushed red pepper and black pepper to the pan. Sauté over medium high heat till onions start to turn a golden color (3 to 5 minutes).

Lower heat to medium, then add garlic and salt. Cook an additional minute.  Remove pan from heat. Drain maraschino cherries and chop. Add chopped cherries and heavy cream to pan and stir to combine well. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Open clams; remove from shells and reserve. Wash deep half of the clam shells (remaining clam shells may be discarded). Place washed clam shells onto a shallow pan (15x11-inch or large enough to fit all clams). Place each reserved clam into a clam shell. Top with a heaping teaspoon of the cherry mixture, then sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and top each with a quarter slice of bacon. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes until cooked through.