Not only is clams casino an easy recipe to prepare, it can be made ahead of time and popped into the broiler whenever you're ready.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 18fresh large (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches) littleneck clams (or middleneck, topneck, cherrystone clams)
- 3strips center-cut bacon
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
- 3garlic cloves (minced or pushed through a press)
- ⅓cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅛tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of table salt
- Rock salt
- 2tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4lemons, cut into wedges for serving
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Scrub clams under cold running water until the shells are clean (see tip).
Step 3Cut each strip of bacon, crosswise, into 6 equal pieces.
Step 4In a large skillet , melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until not quite crisp. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. Set aside.
Step 5Using the same skillet, add red bell pepper to the bacon drippings and cook until softened, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 6Add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 7Turn off the heat and stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, black pepper, and table salt. Set aside.
Step 8Fill a Dutch oven or a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid with 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat.
Step 9Add clams, cover the pot, and cook until the shells open, about 5 minutes.
Step 10Immediately drain the clams to prevent overcooking. Discard any unopened clams. Let clams cool until they can be handled.
Step 11Twist and pull the clamshells apart and remove the clam to loosen its muscle. Place the clam back into the deeper of the 2 shell halves. Discard the remaining shell.
Step 12Preheat the broiler to high. Place an oven rack 6 to 8 inches below the heat source.
Step 13Spread a generous amount of rock salt over the bottom of a heatproof baking dish. Nestle clams slightly into the salt to stabilize them.
Step 14Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly over each clamshell and top each clam with 1 piece of the bacon.
Step 15Transfer to the oven rack and broil clams until the tops are golden brown and crisp, and the edges of the bacon are crisp.
Step 16Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve hot with lemon wedges.
Step 17Serve and enjoy.