Contrary to popular belief, Clams Casino originated in Narragansett, Rhode Island and are typically served as an appetizer in New England. Although there are many variations, the most common ingredients are bacon, white wine, onion and peppers. Sometimes breadcrumbs are added at the last minute; other times, as in this recipe, they are skipped. Frankly, I think breadcrumbs make this dish insipid and soggy and prefer them this way.
What I like about this recipe is the fact that you can make the butter ahead, freeze it, and bring it out at the last minute. Use what you need and save the rest for another time.
I am making Clams Casino this weekend as part of my New York menu for the Belmont Stakes. Check out the recipe in Lindaraxa's Garden for the Belmont Breeze cocktail.
Topneck Clams Casino
(Recipe will yield enough to cover about three dozen clams.)
1 tbsp. pimento, well-drained
1 tbsp. green pepper
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
1 lb. Salted butter, softened
1 tbsp. shallots, peeled and minced
2 tbsp. garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp. sauvignon blanc
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1. In a food processor, pulse the pimento, green pepper and chopped parsley. Drain mixture after mincing is complete.
2. In a mixer with a bowl and paddle attachment, mix butter on medium speed for five minutes, stopping and scraping the bowl sides and paddle after 2½ minutes.
3. Add all ingredients and mix at low speed for three minutes, stopping and scraping the bowl sides and paddle after 1½ minutes. Mix again for 30 seconds to be sure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
4. Roll into parchment paper to create a 2-inch-diameter log. Twist ends tightly to ensure butter is totally sealed.
5. Label, date and freeze until needed.
6. Preheat broiler and place shelf second highest setting from top.
7. Open six (enough for one serving) topneck clams from Long Island Sound.
8. Place on sheet pan, put ½-inch slice of casino butter on top of each clam.
9. Put a 1-inch slice of bacon on top of each slice of butter.
10. Place tray of clams under hot broiler and cook about two minutes or until top side of bacon starts to crisp up. Then remove tray from broiler, flip bacon over and finish cooking the bacon until crispy — about two additional minutes.
11. Remove tray and place clams on warm plate. Serve with lemon wedges
Photo: Jaden Hair, Steamy Kitchen