Clams casino are an easy appetizer using fresh clams topped with garlic, breadcrumbs, chives, bacon and butter.
Summers on the Vineyard are all about fresh seafood. Once we board the ferry, we are craving fresh lobster rolls (our favorite is from the Black Dog Tavern), grilled swordfish and, of course, dad’s clams. Whenever he’s there, he watches the tides then heads out into the bay to dig hundreds of fresh clams, and sometimes a few oysters. I’ve watched for years as he shucks them and eats them raw (a delicacy I’ve only recently been willing to try). We gobble up pots of them steamed with a little melted butter; Mom makes her famous New England clam chowder, and every once in a while, Dad makes clams casino.
On a recent trip, he brought me a dozen so I decided to give clams casino a try. First challenge: I have never shucked a clam. Thanks to Mom, I have the right knife. I left the rest to YouTube, watching a couple videos and then having a go at it myself. Check this out:
Not too bad, huh?
The rest is easy: mix a little panko, garlic, chives and salt in a dish and sprinkle it over each clam. Top with a little bacon and drizzle with some melted butter. Pop them under the broiler and my-oh-my they are tasty! They make a great appetizer (although I admit I ate them all myself for lunch!)
- 1 dozen littleneck clams
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 slice of bacon, cut into 12 pieces
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- Shuck the clams, leaving them on the half shell with their juices. Arrange them on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko, garlic and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the clams. Top each with a piece of the bacon and then drizzle the butter over them.
- Cook the clams under a broiler until clams are cooked and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
- Serve immediately.