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Classic Clams Casino

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Serves 4 as an appetizer

  • by Leslie Pendleton from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

This iconic-bacon topped appetizer takes only about 30 minutes to make and would be an elegant starter for a dinner party.

  • 12 hard-shell clams (littlenecks or cherrystones), scrubbed
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 slices bacon, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
Tip:
There are three sizes of hard-shell clams: Chowder clams are the largest, then cherrystones, followed by littlenecks. Stick with cherrystones or littlenecks for these recipes because they’re small enough to eat whole in one bite.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler on high.

Arrange the clams on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Broil until they open, 5 to 7 minutes, removing each clam with tongs as it opens and transferring it to a clean rimmed baking sheet to cool. Once all the clams have opened, collect any spilled clam juice from the first baking sheet in a measuring cup.

When the clams are cool enough to handle, discard the top shells: Pick up a clam; holding the bottom shell and keeping the clam level, twist off the top shell. Arrange the opened clams on the baking sheet. Run a spoon underneath each clam to loosen it from its bottom shell. Distribute the reserved clam juice among the clams.

Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, parsley, and a few grinds of black pepper. (Do not season with salt.)

Spoon some of the breadcrumb mixture onto each clam. Top each with a tangle of bacon strips. Broil the clams until the topping is just browned, about 5 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges or squeeze the wedges over the clams before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 190; Fat (g): 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 13; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 280; Cholesterol (mg): 45; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I've never made clams casino with breadcrumbs. This is a tasty recipe!

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