March 10, 2015

Clams Casino


3 strips thick cut bacon
4 oz jarred diced pimento, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup white wine or lemon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoon parmesan
2 lbs top neck clams

Preheat oven for 350.

Cook the bacon in a non-stick skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the pimento, garlic and shallot and saute until the shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine or lemon juice and cook 2 minutes or until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in the parmesan and bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, steam the clams in 1 cup water, for 3 minutes. Remove the top shells and places the clams on a baking sheet. Spoon filling on each clam, top with bacon bits and then bake 10 minutes. Serve hot.

My thoughts:

Growing up in Baltimore and spending most of my days (even vacations) on the East Coast I've eaten a lot of seafood. Baltimore is the land of oysters and crabs but clams are also popular here and in the surrounding states. Clams Casino is a personal favorite that hails from just a bit further up the coast in Rhode Island. It can be found on menus up and down the Atlantic. There are a few variations (I even had a Clams Casino pizza this weekend!) but the basics are the same; clams, bacon, bread crumbs, peppers and shallot or onion. Most recipes call for bell peppers but I like using diced pimento, not only is it perfectly pre-diced, the pimento is peeled so you don't get bits of skin in your final dish.

Anyway, I've been looking for an excuse to make Clams Casino for years so when Lay's brand contacted me about new flavors of potato chips, I knew this was my chance! I loved prawn cocktail and chicken dinner crisps in the UK so I was sure other complex flavors can make a great chip. The classic, regional flavors of Clams Casino would translate just as well to a chip as they did the pizza I had on Staten Island this weekend. Fresh, crisp, briny, oniony with a hint of pepper; what more could a seafood lover want more?

Check out Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Contest to see official contest rules and submit your own winning chip idea for a chance to win $1 million!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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