Clams Casino #MoviesandMunchies

Clams Casino are an easy to prepare baked clam appetizer on the half shell, loaded with bacon, breadcrumbs and  cheese.
Clams Casino

Clams Casino

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Clams Casino is my recipe of the day with Movies  and Munchies, a new blogging  group of  foodie filmophiles that has reformulated out of Food n’ Flix. Each month, we watch movies, cook,  and of course, eat. This month we are revisiting the neoclassic Ocean’s Eleven (2001) with an all-star ensemble cast directed by the amazingly talented Stephen Soderbergh.

Clams Casino

Movies  and Munchies

Movies and Munchies group logo

Each month we have a differing volunteer group  host,  who selects our film. Amy of Amy’s Cooking Adventures,  one of  the  group’s  founders, has kicked  off January by selecting Ocean’s Eleven,  starring George Clooney and an ensemble cast. You can view her welcome post for this month’s flick right  here.

The premise is that of an  elaborate Vegas casino heist, that is seemingly beyond impossible, But our  gang of  eleven wonders sets out to pull it off,  with lots of twists and turns along  the way.

For Rent on Amazon PrimeVideo as well as Currently Streaming  on HBOMax

Ocean's Eleven

While I might typically choose a food that  is  in the film,  I have instead chose clams casino. First for  the  obvious casino  connection. Then because to someone who hasn’t made the  appetizer  before, it might seem  impossibly hard to create.

Surprisingly  enough, you won’t need a clam knife and you can amaze your  guests with very  little  effort. Then you can  pop that bottle of champagne, grab your nibbles, kick up your feet and relax with Danny Ocean and his gang.

Purging Fresh  Clams and Other Shellfish

I definitely recommend purging your shellfish after you buy them and bring them home. This will  help remove any sand,  dirt and grit that the shells harbor.

To  do this,  place your clams in cool salt water and let them sit undisturbed for an hour. Most advise to  finish here. However,  I like to pour that water off and do a second purge for another hour. I have found more grit.

After you pour off the water a second time, scrub  the shells under cool  running water with a stiff bristle brush, such as you use for vegetables. And that should pretty much do  it.  Except for mussels where you might have to pull off a seaweed “beard”.

How To Open Clams Without Shucking  Them

The next step  is  to  arrange the clams on a baking  sheet and place them in an oven at 475F. or under the broiler. This should  only  take about ten  minutes tops. I use the  broiler in my toaster oven. What you do  is put them in there  and wait. They will  start to  peek open, but in another moment you  will hear a “pop”  and they will open wide.

Every time you hear one  announce it’s  arrival, immediately remove that  one to a heatproof bowl, being careful not to spill the juices in the shell.  You want to save those. The clams will  mostly  pop at different times.

And  if you have one  that  just will not  open, that one gets tossed. You don’t want to  eat a bad clam.

Removing  Clams From Shells

Working  over  the bowl to  catch clam  juice,  Twist off  the top shell from the clam and set  aside. Using a knife,  slide the blade  under the clam and cut it  free from  the adductor muscle. Drain the juices into the  bowl and  put the clam back down into the shell half.

Getting Ready to Bake  the  Clams

I place a crumpled sheet  of  foil spread back out  to set the clam  shells on.  This will  keep them steady during baking. Once you have all  the clams lined up on the tray, strain  the clam  juice  you collected in  case there was a shell bit that fell into it. You certainly don’t  want  to  bite down on that!

Prep the  Filling  for Clams Casino

The  filling  is  done in a skillet.  That clam juice you saved will be added to it. When it  is cooked and ready just spoon it over the clams. Then finish with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Just a little  bit more baking  to heat that up and brown the  crumbs and you are all set. Just  let the  shells cool down  a teensy bit so you don’t burn  your  fingers trying to spoon  out  your joy. Don’t forget to squeeze the  lemon!

Clams Casino

Clams Casino

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Clams Casino

Clams Casino

Sue Lau
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Sand Purge Soak 2 hrs
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 15 clams

Equipment

  • 1 aluminum foil sheet, (crumpled)

Ingredients
  

Clams:

  • 2 pounds fresh littleneck clams (about 15)
  • salt water
  • 1 lemon (cut; for serving)

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces uncooked bacon (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced pimiento peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Purge clams in salt water, with one water change per hour, then drain off dirty water. Scrub clams under cool water with a stiff brush to clean shells if needed. (they need it)
  • Broil clams 5-10 minutes until they pop open, removing each one from the broiler as they do, being careful not to spill the clam juices. If they do spill, collect those from the pan later.
  • Working over a bowl to catch clam juices, twist and remove top half of shell, then use a paring knife to cut out the clam. Place clam back in the shell.
  • Arrange half-shell clams on a baking sheet lined with crumpled foil. You could also use rock salt if you prefer.
  • Brown the chopped bacon in butter in a skillet with the shallots and garlic.
  • Stir in the marjoram, salt, and black pepper.
  • Pull the pan off the heat and add the vermouth, parsley and pimento peppers.
  • Move the pan back on the heat and cook for a few minutes until vermouth vapes off and mix is almost dry.
  • Remove pan from heat and add the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and stir to mix.
  • Spoon mixture over the clams in the shells.
  • Sprinkle the tops with breadcrumbs and a little more cheese.
  • Bake at 450F for just a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and the crumbs lightly brown. Do not overbake.
  • Sever with cut lemon.

Notes

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Keyword baked clams on the half shell

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Clams Casino

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