For 4 servings - 1 x stuffed half shell
1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot add 1 inch of water, bring to a boil, add 4 large surf clams, place lid on and steam until open 4-6 mins. Reserve this liquor for the vinaigrette later.
2. Place steamed clams in a 2 % salted ice bath. Allow to cool for 10 min then place on a cutting board and trim the skirt out of the shell and discard. Cut the clam out, it should look like a large tongue. Cut this into medium dice and place in a bowl. Once you have done this to each clam; split the shells and keep the 4 bottom shells to stuff back into later.
3. Dice the ham and place in a medium pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil to help with the rendering. Once the ham begins to look crispy add the shallots and the garlic. You just want the shallots and garlic to become translucent, no colour please. We will make our vinaigrette in this pan. Add the vinegar and the soy and add 4 tbsp of the clam liquor. Using a spoon just swirl the pan around until it’s a little frothy and the ham and tempered fat emulsify gently with the soy, and vinegar and clam liquor. Then put that aside in a bowl and allow to come to room temp.
4. Once you have allowed the ham to cool, add the chopped, blanched spinach and the diced clam. Gently, with a spoon and your fingertips, toss this mixture together pulling from the bottom and move from side to side until the ham, vinaigrette , spinach and clam have been fully mixed.
5. Now taste for salt and add some fresh cracked pepper, if it needs a squeeze of a lemon or even a sprinkle of spice like cayenne or nice dried chilies.
6. Place mixture into 4 shells place on a baking tray with bunched Crinkled tinfoil so they can stay straight while broiling.
7. Place tray on the middle rack and turn on the broiler.
8. Don’t walk away and burn these puppies.
9. When golden brown take out of the oven and spoon a little caviar on top and a little Devonshire cream and a few flakes of the flor del sel.
10. All done! Hope you didn’t burn anything.