Recipe by MarthaStewartWanabe
My stepfather-in-law made Clams Casino as an hors d'oeuvre for Thanksgiving 2007. I liked his version so much that I had to make something similar for my annual 2007 Christmas hors d'oeuvres party for my friends. He used bread crumbs in his topping, which is non-traditional in Clams Casino, but gives the dish a toasted texture and flavor. I took my best guess at his recipe, doubled it in order to serve 12 and added a few extra flavors for zing. It was a success with the seafood lovers at the party--especially my husband!
- 12 cherrystone clams
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup celery, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup red pepper, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs, dried, unseasoned
- 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- rock salt (or coarse sea salt)
Directions See How It's Made
- Under cold running water, rinse clams and scrub with a soft-bristled brush to remove as much sand as possible. (Note: Clams should be tightly closed or snap shut when touched or placed under cold water. If any are already open and do not close after manipulation, discard those particular clams immediately to prevent food poisoning.).
- In an oven-proof shallow dish (pie plate works best), pour in rock salt. Cover bottom of dish evenly with rock salt until 1/4-inch thick.
- Steam clams until shells begin to open. Carefully remove each clam from steamer and set aside, reserving as much of the juice as possible in the bottom half of each shell.
- Allow clams to cool until manageable to handle; then carefully break off top half of shell. With a knife, gently separate meat from where it is attached to shell. Then nestle the half of the shell with clam and juice into rock salt, arranging in the best way possible to fit into the baking dish. (Note: This helps keep clam upright and saves juice from spilling out. Plus it makes for a nice presentation!).
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery, red pepper and garlic to skillet and sauté until tender.
- Remove skillet from heat and stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, pepper and crumbled bacon.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs a little at a time into skillet, stirring into mixture until moisture is absorbed. Use a little less or more of the bread crumbs until desired consistency is met.
- Spoon a scant amount of the mixture onto each clam.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until clams are just cooked through and topping is golden.
- Serve immediately.