Clams Casino #2

What is happening!?!? This post is very belated. I made this appetizer to bring to my Clams Casino-loving friends’ house for the Fourth of July this summer… Well, I think I know what is happening! I am super behind on my blog posts, that is what is happening. :/ I’m happy to report that Littleneck Clams are still readily available! 🙂

I have made Clams Casino only one other time in the past. (to see the post click here) This new version has several modifications from the first. It omits the breadcrumbs (a selling point for me), keeps the clams whole, and includes pancetta instead of bacon. This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Foodnetwork.com. I cleaned and cooked the clams as I had done in my previous dish. I also adjusted the amount of most of the ingredients and added strained clam juice to the filling. It’s a great appetizer for a crowd!

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck clams
  • lemon wedges for garnish, if desired

Note: The clams can be stored for a day in a bowl in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

  1. Begin by cleaning the clams. Rinse them thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl with very cold water, and stick the bowl in the refrigerator. This will give the clams the chance to spit out any sand or grit that may have gotten inside. After about 30 minutes (or up to an hour), drain the bowl of water, and refill with fresh cold water. Refrigerate. After the second soaking, scrub them with a kitchen brush.
  2. Cook the clams: Preheat the broiler to high (I set it to Broiler-Max, 500 degrees). Place the clams on a large, heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Place under the broiler, and broil for about 3 to 5, or until the clams have opened completely.
  3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reserve the clam juice that has dripped into the pan. Strain the clam juice in a coffee filter to remove any bits of shell or grit. (I used 2-3 tablespoons of this strained clam juice in the filling.)
  4. Remove the clam from inside the shell with a spoon. Set aside.
  5. Gently twist the clam shell at the hinged side to separate the halves. Clean any remnants of clam from the shell with a knife. Reserve bottom shells.
  6. Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate.
  7. Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano to the same skillet and saute until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely. Stir the reserved pancetta, 2 or 3 tablespoons of the strained clam juice, and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  10. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  11. Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the clams in the reserved shells on the baking sheet. Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  12. Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
  13. Arrange the clams on the platter. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Clams Casino

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The first time I ever ate Clams Casino (or had ever even heard of Clams Casino) was several years ago at a special birthday dinner (for me!) at a wonderful restaurant named Maroni’s in Northport, NY. My husband and I had the chef’s tasting menu and were served all sorts of dishes- some old, some new, all delicious! We especially loved the Clams Casino and I have been thinking about making it ever since. I had never bought or cooked clams before so it made me a little bit nervous.

When Prudy of Butter, Basil, and Breadcrumbs brought this dish to Fiesta Friday at the Novice Gardener, I was excited to have a great recipe to try to make it myself. I loved that she included such precise instructions on how to clean and cook the clams. I adapted her tasty recipe; I adjusted cooking times, used Connecticut Littleneck Clams instead of Cherrystone Clams, panko instead of soft breadcrumbs, and added avocado oil. We enjoyed them with cocktails on a beautiful afternoon sitting by our outside fireplace. Great!!

  • 12-14 Littleneck Clams (buy extra just to be safe)
  • ½ pound bacon, diced
  • 2 T reserved bacon grease
  • 4 T butter, melted, more to taste, if desired
  • avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 sweet red pepper, finely diced in a food processor
  • 3 shallots, finely diced in a food processor
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced in a food processor
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ÂĽ tsp cayenne
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Clam juice from broiling
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 T Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemon wedges, for serving, if desired

Note: The clams can be stored for a day in a bowl in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

  1. Begin by cleaning the clams. Rinse them thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl with very cold water, and stick the bowl in the refrigerator. This will give the clams the chance to spit out any sand or grit that may have gotten inside. After about 30 minutes (or up to an hour), drain the bowl of water, and refill with fresh cold water. Refrigerate. After the second soaking, scrub them with a kitchen brush.
  2. Cook the clams: Preheat the broiler to high (I set it to Broiler-Max, 500 degrees). Place the clams on a large, heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Place under the broiler, and broil for about 3 to 5, or until the clams have opened completely.
  3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reserve the clam juice that has dripped into the pan. Strain the clam juice in a coffee filter to remove any bits of shell or grit.
  4. Remove the clam from inside the shell with a spoon. Place on a cutting board and finely chop. Gently twist the clam shell at the hinged side to separate the halves. Clean any remnants of clam from the shell with a knife. Set the shells aside.
  5. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside. Discard all but two tablespoons of the grease. Add the finely diced red pepper and shallots to the pan. Sauté until softened; about three minutes or so. Add the garlic; and sauté for another minute, or until softened.
  6. Add the wine to the shallots and garlic mixture, and simmer until it’s reduced to about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the chopped clams, breadcrumbs, ½ of the bacon, the reserved clam juice, melted butter, parsley, pepper, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, and cheese to the wine reduction. Mix thoroughly. If you think it is a little too crumbly, you can add another tablespoon or so of melted butter, avocado oil, or olive oil until desired consistency is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon the clam and breadcrumb mixture onto the clam shells. Top with remaining bacon. Put under the broiler for about 1 minute or until the bacon is sizzling and the top is golden brown.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

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Chicken, Shrimp, & Clam Jambalaya

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Our family tradition is to enjoy Jambalaya followed by King Cake on Mardi Gras– is it terrible that we’ve only had the first course so far? Mardi Gras snuck up on me this year! So, the King Cake has been delayed to the weekend…. it will be well worth the wait. (My family doesn’t mind as long as I make it!) 🙂 I modified this wonderful, colorful dish to include clams- and not just clam juice. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and smoked chicken andouille sausage. This recipe was adapted from The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated. Hope you enjoyed your Mardi Gras celebration too!!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 large sweet onion, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 medium celery rib, cut crosswise into quarters
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered lengthwise
  • 6 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 to 12 ounces andouille sausage (I used 12 oz smoked chicken andouille sausage), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (I used basmati)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 6.5 ounces canned clams with juice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), peeled and deveined, if desired
  • 2 T minced fresh parsley leaves, optional, as garnish
  1. In a food processor, pulse the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until chopped fine, about six 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Do not over process; the vegetables should not be pureed.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the andouille; cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the chopped vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the rice, salt, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is coated with fat, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes with juice, clams with juice, broth, bay leaves, and browned sausage to the pot; stir to combine.
  7. Place the chicken on the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, keeping the chicken on top. Replace the cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink when cut into with a paring knife, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
  8. Scatter shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
  9. While the shrimp are cooking, shred the chicken with your fingers into thin strands. When the shrimp are cooked, discard the bay leaves.
  10. Off the heat, stir in the parsley, if using, and shredded chicken; serve immediately.

One Year Ago:

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