- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Source: Ask Chef Dennis
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