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This year when we went out for our traditional 7 fishes Dinner on Christmas Eve, and one of the items served was Clams Casino. It had been so long since I had indulged in Clams Casino, I had forgotten just how delicious they could be and how much I loved them. Sometimes I think the world tends to forget food items, they become less trendy; new and improved appetizers come and go, but few stand the test of time like Clams Casino. I mean what could be better than a nice fresh clam, bacon, butter and Parmesan cheese, throw in a few onions and peppers and we have a true masterpiece.
During my years as a Restaurant Chef, Clams Casino was a staple. I will also share my secret for opening clams with great ease. Unless they are intended for Clams on a half shell, throw the clams into the freezer, well don't throw them, as much fun as it is, but gently place them into the freezer for at least a few hours or overnight. Now Take out the clams and Voila!! they are opened slightly, no clam knife , no accidental cuts and no trips to the hospital for stitches... Place the clams in a bowl and allow cold water to run over them for about 10 minutes, dump the water out every now and then to make sure it is as clean as possible. Now take a small knife and place the blade in the corner of the shell and twist it to pop the shell open a little more, once its opened up use the knife to go above and below the clam freeing it completely from the upper shell. Now twist off the top and discarded it, give the clam a quick rinse if necessary and use the knife to make sure the clam is loose from the bottom of the shell as well. The easier you make it to slurp the clam off entirely into your mouth the more clams you will be able to eat. So lets begin.

Tempo Preparazione:
Tempo di cottura:
 
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Ingredienti

  • Clams Casino
  • 24 Top neck clams-cleaned
  • 2 sticks of Butter
  • 8-10 slices of Bacon-thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper- small dice
  • 1 Large Spanish or Va dahlia Onion-small dice
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley finely chopped
  • 1 Lemon (optional)

Istruzioni

  1. While your clams are in the freezer (and the clams can stay in the freezer for a week or so); or a few days before hand, start by making the Casino Mix.
  2. Chop the onion, and pepper into a small dice, remember you are going to be eating this off the clam, you want to see the pepper and onion, but you don't want the pieces to be too large either.
  3. Slice the bacon slices about 1/8 of an inch thick. Now place the butter, bacon, peppers, and onions into a medium sauce pan and cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated Romano, black pepper,Oregano (and always use dry, fresh oregano does not work as well) and half of the chopped parsley. Mix well.
  5. Place into the refrigerator and stir it occasionally so all the ingredients stay well blended, until the butter has firmed back up. This will take at least 2 hours, so give yourself time. Casino mix can stay refrigerated for at least 3 days before you use it.
  6. With your mix ready to go, now we need to focus on the clams. Take them out of the freezer, allow them to thaw in a bowl with running water for about 10 minutes, and do make sure to dump the water every now and then to make sure they are cleaned well. Open your clams up and we can get started. (Now for the purists out there, do feel free to start with fresh clams, and a clam knife, Its not too difficult to open the clams that way, just make sure you use a clam knife and not a kitchen knife.)
  7. Take a spoonful of the prepared Casino mix and make a nice mound of it on top of the clam., pressing it into the clam firmly with your hand. Repeat this process until all of the clams are stuffed.
  8. Now place your clams in a casserole, there will be butter run off, so we don't want that spilling into your oven. Place the clams into a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the bacon and tops begin to get nicely browned.
  9. Remove carefully from the baking dish , re-stuff any that fell out and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle the rest of the fresh cut parsley over top and serve with lemon wedges.
  10. Now just enjoy all the happy faces as they consume your masterpiece....
  11. When purchasing any seafood, clams especially, look for a safe food source. I am fortunate to have a Wegman's nearby, they are a great source for fresh reliable seafood. Many other area grocers sell clams as well, and you can never go wrong going to a seafood market. The Italian market in Philly is a great place to purchase your seafood as well.
  12. you can also try:
  13. Clams Italiano- top with grated Romano, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
  14. bake until cheese is melted, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  15. Clams Diablo- season clam with granulated garlic, granulated onion, black pepper, crushed red pepper, grated Romano cheese and then drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and bake for 10 minutes
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  • A.L. Wiebe
    Oh man, do these clams make me hungry! Thank you for posting this, as I haven't had these in years. I can see the beach from my chair here, and I'm going, going...gone!
    Ho cucinato/assaggiato questa ricetta!
    • Belissimo
      Ho cucinato/assaggiato questa ricetta!

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