Clams casino is one of those classic American dishes that inspired me to write this book. I wanted to renew interest in some dishes that were delightful in their original incarnations, but then were overdone, often badly, to such an extent that they fell out of favor. If you make the these clams casino this way (and this recipe is different from the classic because I don’t crumble the bacon), you’ll understand why it became so popular. Cut the bacon into small slabs, which protects the clams from overcooking while infusing them with its flavor. The bacon crisps up around the edges, giving you a nice contrast of chewy and crisp textures. The clams casino can be prepped ahead of time through step 4.–Mark Peel
Clams Casino Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes | Makes 24 clams
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 small garlic clove, green shoot removed, roughly chopped
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 ounces bacon (2 strips)
- Rock salt, for the baking sheet (optional)
- 24 cherrystone clams, shucked and left on the half shell
- 1/2 lemon
- 1. In a mortar and pestle, mash together the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the butter and mash together.
- 2. Cook the bacon until just cooked through but not crisp. Remove from the heat and cut in 1-inch pieces.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Cover a baking sheet with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rock salt, if using. Heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Now preheat the broiler.
- 4. Place the clams casinos on top of the salt (this is just to keep them steady). Top each with about 2 drops lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of the butter mixture. Lay a piece of bacon over the top.
- 5. Place the clams under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is sizzling. Serve the clams casino immediately.
Clams Casino Recipe © 2009 Mark Peel with Martha Rose Shulman. Photo © 2009 Lucy Schaeffer. All rights reserved.