Clams Casino with Bread Crumbs
This recipe is based on clams served at The Lighthouse Inn, Point Judith, Rhode Island.
18 little neck clams (about 2 inches or a bit smaller), shucked. Reserve the bottom
shells and the clam juice
4 strips of raw bacon chopped into quarter-inch chunks
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
2 sprigs of Italian flat leaf parsley
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped sweet onions
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp of powdered garlic
Preheat a broiler and position the shelf about three inches from the broiler
Saute the onions and bell peppers in the olive oil until they are cooked but still have some firmness. You don’t have to drain them because you need to oil to add moisture to the bread crumbs
Finely chop the parsley
Add the chopped parsley, the garlic powder, and the cheese to the bread crumbs Mix well
Scrub and rinse the empty shells
Place one clam in each shell and even divide the clam juice among each clam in shell
Place a small portion of the bread crumbs mixture on top of each clam
Place a small portion of the onions and peppers on top of the bread crumbs Place one to two pieces of the raw bacon on top of the bread crumbs
Place the dressed clams in a shallow stainless steel pan or cookie sheet
Broil for about one minute or until the bacon is crisp.
Using an oven mitt, arrange the clams on a large oval platter garnished with Romaine lettuce and other seasonal vegetables.
Eat with a cocktail fork. Great with white wine or a cold lager beer. Cocktail sauce is not needed. The succulent flavors of the dish satisfies most people, but some may like cocktail sauce as well.
Serves 1-3, depending on how much each person wants to eat.
This recipe is easy to follow because making clams casino is a step-by-step process. The clams are not cooked all the way through so they retrain the flavors of the ocean.
Shucking the Clams
Shucking the clams requires a sharp, small knife. Place the blade of the knife lengthwise against the most round portion of the clam. Push and the knife slips in. Pick out any bits of shell that may drop into the clam. Run the knife under the clam to loosen the clam from the shell.
Do Not Eat Clams When Shells are Open
Throw the clams away if the shells are not sealed tightly. Open shells means the clams are dead. Dead clams are not safe to eat.
Digging for Clams
In coastal Rhode Island, you can dig the clams yourself at low tide. Bare feet and legs, a clam fork, and a rugged sack are all you need. You feel for the clams with your feet and dig them out with your fork. If you get clams that are close to three inches, these are cherry stones. You could use them for clams casino too. Any bigger than that, and the clams are called quahogs. Grind quahogs up or chop finely for clam chowder.