Slow-Cooker Clams with Bacon, Leeks & White Wine
Cook the bacon in a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings in the skillet. Add the leeks and shallots to the reserved drippings in the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the leek mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker; stir in the thyme, clam juice, wine, and bacon. Cover and cook on LOW until the leeks are tender and the broth is very aromatic, about 3 hours. Stir in the lemon juice. Increase the heat to HIGH, and add the clams to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until all the clams have opened, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.Advertisement
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler with the oven rack about 8 inches from the heat. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet, and brush with half of the olive oil. Broil until golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn the slices over, and repeat the procedure on the other side with the remaining olive oil.
Divide the clams and broth among 4 bowls; sprinkle evenly with the parsley, and serve with the bread slices.
Tip: Scrubbing clams prior to cooking is an important step in making sure they are in safe and prime condition to be eaten. The simplest way to clean them is to submerge the clams in fresh, cool tap water for 20 minutes to an hour. This will allow sand or dirt to escape. Then remove the clams from the water and scrub them using a brush. If the clams open at any point prior to cooking, or if they float when soaked, throw them out, as they have gone bad.