Thursday, June 9, 2011

Clams Casino

Dad used to shuck the clams, sprinkle chopped raw onions and
green peppers on each one, then place a square of bacon on top.
Simple.  Broil til done and the bacon curls up.  Then, several dashes
of tabasco later, scrape out the contents of the shell with your two
front teeth, chew and wash down with cold beer.

I usually find a way to make everything more complicated and
time-consuming.  I partially steam the clams with vermouth just
until I can get a clam knife inside the shell.  Saving the liquid in
the pot, I discard the top shells, free the clam from its adductor
muscle in the bottom half  and line the clams up on a sheet pan.

Saute diced yellow and red peppers, onions, and garlic with fresh
thyme and Old Bay seasoning.  Add some of the vermouth/clam juice
mixture and reduce.  When dry, set aside to cool.

Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture onto each clam, turning the
spoon upside down and patting the mound firmly within the shell,
creating a domed shape.  Lay a square of  uncooked, room
temperature bacon on top of each, allowing it to conform to
the shape of the mound.  The clams are ready for a 400-450
degree oven until the bacon is rendered and crispy.  If you're
not heating them right away, throw them in the freezer for a
couple of hours.  When the bacon freezes in the dome shape,
it tends not to curl when cooked.  Tastes the same, but visually
they are alot more uniform looking, if you give a crap.

Cold beer is great with clams casino, but a Tanqueray 10
Gibson fits the bill nicely as well.  Is it five o'clock yet?   

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