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4 Dozen Manila or small littleneck clams; scrubbed, then shucked over a bowl to catch clam juice (up to 6)
2 sl Salt pork; cut into small pieces (about 1/4 cup)
1 c Cracker crumbs; such as Carr's Water Crackers, crushed with rolling pin
4 ts Unsalted butter
Cayenne pepper to taste
Strain clam juice. Measure clams and liquid and add enough water to make 4 cups. Cook salt pork over medium heat in large saucepan 3 to 5 minutes or until fat is rendered and pork is browned. Add clams and liquid, and heat, stirring, over medium heat until clams are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread a layer of cracker crumbs in bottom of 4 bowls. Cut butter into small pieces and divide it evenly among bowls. Season clam mixture with cayenne. With slotted spoon, distribute clams evenly among bowls. Ladle boiling liquid over clams. Makes 4 servings
NOTE: Cooking clams or fish too long makes it tough.
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