Clams Casino Recipe
Clams Casino is a favorite seafood appetizer served in upscale restaurants. This fancy dish features juicy clams on the half shell topped with a mouthwatering mixture of crispy bacon, breadcrumbs and seasonings.
Servings: 6 servings
- 3 pounds littleneck clams 20-25 clams (see note)
- 3 strips bacon cooked and crumbled (see note)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (1 stick)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 shallots minced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and minced fine, optional
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ½ cup white wine or chicken broth or water
- 1 cup bread crumbs panko recommended
- 2 tablespoons parsley flat leaf or curly, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedges for serving
Make the Topping
In a skillet, fry the bacon strips over medium heat until crispy. (You can also microwave the bacon if you prefer). Remove to a plate and crumble into bits using your fingers or by chopping with a knife. Set aside.
Optional: Use paper towel to soak up excess grease from the skillet. If you use all the grease, reduce the amount of butter by at least half.
Add the butter, minced shallot, garlic, optional bell pepper and optional red pepper flakes to the pan. Sauté over medium heat until fragrant and slightly softened, about one minute.
Add the wine and boil down by half, about 2-3 minutes. Then aa the breadcrumbs, reserved bacon and parsley, tossing to mix evenly. The texture should resemble damp sand somewhat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Broil the Clams
Turn the broiler on to preheat, setting the oven rack to the upper middle position about 4 inches from the heating element.
Scrub the clams clean under running water using a bristle brush to remove any surface dirt and debris.
Place the clams on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Then put the baking sheet under the broiler.
Broil until the clams open up, typically 3 to 5 minutes although it may take more or less time depending on the clams you have. Always discard any clams that do not open, as they may have perished.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the hot clams to a plate. Pour any juices that may have accumulated on the baking sheet into a cup and set aside.
When the clams are cool enough to handle, twist off the top shells while holding the bottom shells in place. Using silicone oven mitts can be helpful here.
Assembly and Baking
Place the opened clams on the baking sheet. Run an oyster knife or paring knife tip underneath each clam muscle to separate it from the shell. Then dribble the reserved juices to fill each shell halfway.
Spoon enough breadcrumb mixture onto each clam to cover completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Broil the clams until the topping is golden and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid them turning dark or burning.
Remove from the oven and transfer the clams to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges before serving.
- Clams: I recommend using large littleneck clams, which are meatier. You can even use the next size up called cherrystone clams, which are also a more affordable option.
- Bacon: Use regular bacon strips or to save time crumbed pre-cooked bacon. I don't recommend bacon bits for this recipe.
- For a lighter option, do not use the bacon grease and sauté using olive oil instead of butter. The dish will be less rich but still full of flavor!
Serving: 4clams | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 411mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg