2 sticks ( 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives, oregano and
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
4 dozen freshly shucked littleneck clams, on the half shell
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cracker crumbs, herbs, egg yolk, garlic and Tabasco. Scrape the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a 12-inch log. Refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the broiler. Spread rock salt on a large rimmed baking sheet and set the clams on the salt. Top each clam with a 1/8-inch-thick slice of the herb butter and broil the clams 8 inches from the heat for about 10 minutes, shifting the pan as necessary, until the clams are deep golden and bubbling. Serve at once.
The butter can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 week.