Bev is not nearly the seafood fan that I am, so I’ve been eating my fill while she’s in Florida for two weeks. When we had the shelled seafood meal, we used all but a dozen clams which I decided to make into clams casino.
Since I’m usually ready to call it a day about mid-afternoon, I cooked them for lunch, yep you heard right, lunch, using a recipe from Allrecipes, mainly because it included bread crumbs. With only 12 clams, I made half of the recipe shown below.
Clams Casino – adapted from Allrecipes
24 cherry stone clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup minced onion (I used scallions)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (I used red & orange sweet peppers)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried bread crumbs
4 slices bacon (Benton’s of course)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a small skillet, cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Crumble pretty small and set aside. (I diced then fried earlier with the bacon for the salmon chowder)
2. Add 2 tablespoons oil and butter to the skillet, and place over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and sauté until tender. Remove from heat, and cool.
3. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, bacon, oregano, cheese, and sautéed vegetables (including the oil and butter in the pan). Mix well.
4. Wash clams with a brush and open with a chefs knife by slicing through the middle. I set them upright on a cutting board, positioned the knife between the two shells and sliced them open – easy peasy if the knife in on the crack (see note below).
5. Using a spoon, scrape under the meat in one shell to dislodge the meat and put it in the other shell half then twist the shells apart – careful not to get any of the hinge shell pieces in the meat. Scape the meat loose in the remaining shell half.
6. Fill clam shells with the bread crumb mixture, and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Drizzle with olive oil. (I misread the recipe and just mixed the parsley and paprika in with the bread crumb mixture).
7. Bake at 450 degrees F for 7 minutes. Serve.
Note: Only shuck the raw clams if you're sure they are fresh, otherwise use the Allrecipes method to open - "After scrubbing, place on a baking sheet and heat in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 1 to 2 minutes, or until clams open. Discard any that do not open. Remove meat from shells. Chop, and set aside." I made them like my dad did and left the clam meat intact. Whole clams can be a little rubbery but these were fine like this.
I rarely make an OMG good dish but this was one of them with one minor change - dump all of the liquid out of the clam or it can be too salty as a couple of mine were. A chile (jalapeno, serrano, etc.) could have been used to replace some of the sweet pepper if a little heat is desired.
I don’t remember having these since my folks left Jersey in the late 70’s, but I guarantee, it won’t be that long until the next batch. Did I say I really liked these - what a lunch?
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11/19/12 meal date