Clams Casino


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
  • ¼ 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.



My family has a Mardi Gras tradition- a meal of Jambalaya followed by King Cake for dessert. Festive and tasty. 🙂

I served this version of Jambalaya for our second annual feast (and more recently in 2023). It is from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. I was initially interested in cookbooks by the Lee Brothers when one of their newer cookbooks was written up in the New York Times.

The recipe was adapted from their first cookbook. I love the story, background, and description they include with each recipe. I modified the method. I also substituted Old Bay for the Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil, used homemade turkey stock, and substituted kielbasa for the andouille sausage. Great.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 pound shrimp (21-25 per pound), preferably with shells on (I used shrimp with tails on)
  • 2 to 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or homemade stock
  • 1 T Old Bay or Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil (see below)
  • 1 T canola oil, plus more if necessary
  • 10 to 12 ounces smoked andouille sausage or kielbasa, cut on the bias 3/4 inch thick
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6), trimmed, halved if large, patted dry
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • one 28-ounce can whole Italian tomatoes, drained, juice reserved (I used San Marzano)
  • 1 cup long-grain rice (I used organic white Basmati rice)
  • 6 3-4-inch-long fresh thyme stems or fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. If using shell-on shrimp: Peel the shrimp and place in a bowl, reserving the shells separately. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp shells and the Old Bay or Shrimp Boil (recipe below), turn the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the shells and discard. Turn off the heat and set aside. (I used peeled shrimp and omitted this step.)
  2. In a broad-bottomed 4-quart pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. (I used a large and wide enameled cast iron pan.)
  3. Add the sausage, turning the pieces with tongs until the outer surface of the sausage pieces are browned all over, about 4 minutes total. Remove from the pan and place on a plate; set aside.
  4. Add the chicken thighs to the sausage fat in the pot (in batches, if necessary; don’t crowd the pan). Sprinkle them with pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté them on one side until they are a rich golden brown, about 4 minutes, agitating them every so often and adding drops of oil, if necessary, to keep them from sticking.
  5. Turn the thighs, sprinkle them again with pinches of salt and pepper, and sauté until the other side is nicely browned, about 3 to 4 additional minutes. Remove to a plate and reserve.
  6. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of reserved tomato juice to the pot and sauté, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as you add them. Turn the heat to media-low and simmer until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and thickly soupy, 4-6 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken, nestling the thighs in the stew. Add the sausage and any juices that may have drained from the chicken and the sausage.
  9. If you skipped the first step (making shrimp stock), add 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of reserved tomato juice to the pot over the chicken and sausage. Sprinkle the Old Bay or Shrimp Boil over the top. (If you made the shrimp stock, strain the broth into a measuring cup and add enough of the remaining tomato juice to make 3 cups of liquid.)
  10. Add the rice, making sure that the grains are submerged in the liquid.
  11. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  12. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp, stirring to distribute.
  13. Let the jambalaya rest for 10 minutes before serving. The rice should be plump and very moist but not soupy.
  14. Serve in bowls, and garnish with fresh parsley and/or thyme.

Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil

A shrimp boil is a spice blend that combines with water to make an instantly spicy and aromatic broth, a perfect medium for boiling all sorts of fish and shellfish. This recipe makes enough to season 4 gallons of water. Budget 1 T per 1 quart water.

Yield: Makes 1 scant cup

  • 1 T peppercorns
  • 1 T celery seeds
  • 6 bay leaves, shredded with scissors
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 3 T ground cayenne pepper
  1. Pound the peppercorns, celery seeds, and bay leaf with the salt in a mortar, in batches if necessary.
  2. Place in a small bowl and stir in the cayenne.

Note: Stored in an airtight container, shrimp boil will keep for up to 2 months.

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