Recipe: Clams Casino on the Half-shell


Clams Casino, Courtesy: www.foodnetwork.com
Clams Casino, Courtesy: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Said to be first served in a New Jersey casino in 1917, Clams Casino are often served as an appetizer in the New England region and eastern seaboard of the USA.  Although recipes vary from region to region, they usually contain butter, peppers, bacon, garlic and onion.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
18 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck clams, shucked, bottom shells reserved
Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate.
  4. Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano to the same skillet and sauté until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely.
  7. Stir the reserved pancetta and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture.
  8. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  9. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  10. Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil.
  11. Arrange the clams in the reserved shells on the baking sheet.
  12. Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly.
  13. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  14. Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
  15. Arrange the clams on the platter and serve.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • Breadcrumbs are often added on top of the filling mixture, to add texture.
  • Add a bit of lem0n juice to each clam just before serving
 Yield: 6 servings
Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com, Giada De Laurentis, Show: Everyday Italian, Episode: Good Things Come in Small Packages, http://www.eater.com.
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