Thursday, April 28, 2011

Clams Casino

Not arranged very well, but we were hungry and wanted to eat
I made this dish a week ago but never got around to posting the about it. The clams casino turned out really good and I want to make them again, so I figured I would post before I forgot how I made them. I started with Giada's recipe, subbing turkey bacon for regular bacon and using of some panko breadcrumbs mixed in with pecorino romano as the topping, and it turned out great: meaty and savory with a mix of flavors and textures and I liked the use of peppers for some freshness. It was relatively healthy too, with just a little bit of olive oil, versus many other recipes that use butter. The most difficult and time-consuming part was shucking all the clams; I couldn't figure out how to shuck them raw with my new oyster knife, so I just steamed them until they slightly opened, reserving any juice for the filling and adjusting the cooking time. I used manila clams that I had leftover from the previous night's meal, but in the future I would use larger clams.

Clams Casino
  • To prep: fine dice 2 strips of turkey bacon, 1 large red pepper (1 cup), 2 large shallots (1/3 cup), 3 garlic cloves
  • In a steamer, steam 2-3 lbs of clams until they just start to open (~5 mins) and then set aside to cool. When cool, reserve any clam juice in a separate bowl, strained, snap off the top shell and scrape the clam loose from the bottom shell
  • Saute over medium heat, 2 strips of minced turkey bacon in 1-2 TB of olive oil until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes
  • Remove the bacon to a separate plate and in the same pan, saute the peppers, shallots and garlic and 1/4 tsp of oregano for five minutes, until the peppers and shallots are soft
  • Add 1/3 cup of white wine and reserved clam juice, scraping the pan and simmer until the white wine is fully absorbed, 2 minutes
  • Turn off the heat, and stir in the cooked bacon and 2 TB of grated pecorino romano. Spoon the mixture onto the clams. Then mix together 2 TB of pecorino romano and 2 TB of panko breadcrumbs and top onto the clams
  • Bake on a large baking sheets lined with foil (crinkle the foil so that the clams can sit securely in the pan) at 500 degrees for 5 minutes until the top is nice and brown

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