What you need for this recipe: fresh clams, chopped shallot, panko breadcrumbs, black pepper, and bacon, and lemon (optional).
Hi, it's New Year's Eve, are you ready to paaaaahhhhhhrrrrteeeeeyyy???
Not me. I have requested a solo night with Jordan, no parties or NYC shenanigans, just a quiet (oh man, we are totally in our 40's) night with good food. A few elegant appetizers, a little bit of bubbly and maybe I'll put on makeup (probably not).
As I was sifting through recipes this morning I realized I never posted this epic clams casino recipe, and there is no better time than today! Tender clams topped with chopped shallot and fresh black pepper, crunchy panko breadcrumbs, and a perfect bite of salty bacon. The smokey bacon soaks into the breadcrumbs, the fresh clams are perfectly tender and ready to be slurped up, top with a squeeze of lemon juice for that final hit of bright citrus.
I can't take credit for this clams casino recipe, it was graciously given to me by my fishmonger (if you live in NYC please visit Pura Vida Fisheries at the Union Square Greenmarket, their fish is by far the best!). We have probably made it more than a dozen times since. It is a very straightforward simple recipe, simpler than a traditional clams casino recipe. It is a bite of pure ocean love with a hint of bacon. In other words, this is not the heavy gut bomb of old-school clams casino.
Let's get cooking! Seriously you won't believe how easy this recipe is.
How to Make the BEST Clams Casino:
- Start with fresh clams. This is a recipe with very few ingredients and a short cook time so you need to make sure that all of your ingredients are the best possible.
- Shuck the clams. Yes, there is labor involved. If this step intimidates you ask your fishmonger to shuck the clams for you. BUT…I do think shucking is a life skill we should all possess 😉
- Once the clams are shucked spread out on a baking sheet and sprinkle finely chopped shallot on top of each clam followed by a grind of fresh black pepper.
- Top each clam with a small sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs, and a slice of bacon.
- Broil for 8 minutes or until the bacon is perfectly crispy.
- Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.
- You can also top with parsley for more color, but I honestly prefer them without parsley.
What Kind of Clams Should I Use in Clams Casino?
- I prefer cherrystone (large clams) or little neck (smaller than cherrystone). I typically ask my fish dude which is best that day and go with what he suggests.
- Do not use “steamers”, they will not work.
Can I Use Frozen Clams?
- I have never tried, but I've seen frozen clams used in a lot of other recipes so I am sure you can try. Please let me know if you do try how they turn out.
Do I have to Shuck the Clams?
- There are a few other methods if this step really prevents you from making the recipe. You can steam the clams for 2 minutes until the shell opens and then open them the rest of the way and proceed with the recipe. You can also put them in the broiler closed and whole and wait until they open and then proceed with the recipe. In both instances, you are risking overcooking the clams.
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The BEST 5 ingredient Clams Casino
- Add a sprinkle of finely chopped shallot to each clam and a grind of fresh black pepper, followed by a pinch of panko breadcrumbs, and finally top with a piece of bacon.
- Place in broiler for 8 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges
- Nutrition facts are based on a serving size of 4 clams. Jordan and I easily eat a dozen clams each as an entree with a large green salad.
- To serve clams I like filling a cake tin (stay with me now!) with kosher salt and nestling the clams in the salt.
- Bacon - I have tried the recipe with thick cut and regular bacon and I prefer regularly sliced. If it's too thick it takes too long to crisp and the clams are overcooked.
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