This version of clams casino offers a seasoned mixture of sweet peppers, onion, cheese and bacon baked "on the halfshell".
4 slices of lean bacon, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Monterey Jack or freshly grated Parmesan
12 medium (2 1/2-inch) hard-shelled clams, shucked and the bottom shells reserved
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Coarse salt for filling the pan and platter
- In a heavy skillet cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring, until it begins to brown but is not crisp, transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain; discard drippings.
- In the skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium-low heat until softened, add bell peppers and oregano, and cook mixture, stirring, until bell peppers are crisp-tender.
- Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in the bacon, Worcestershire and desired cheese; salt and black pepper to taste.
- Arrange the clams in the reserved shells in a jelly-roll pan filled with some of the coarse salt (to balance the shells), divide the bell pepper mixture among them, and bake the clams in a preheated 400°F (205°C). oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are just cooked through.
- To serve, arrange the clams on a platter filled with more of the coarse salt.
Makes 12 baked clams.