Clam’s Casino

What a wonderful Christmas we had…so great to have family all together.  We have always had a Christmas Eve tradition of doing “appetizers” to snack on all night long…Bob and I started this years ago when we first got married.  Below is a photo from our “1st Christmas Eve” together as husband & wife entertaining our very good friend.

Christmas Eve 1977

Christmas Eve 1977

This year was not any different, everyone chooses an appetizer, or two, of their choice.  Rob’s choice is always Clam’s Casino.  Pretty funny that these little guys are such a big hit since I do not eat clams.  When I was a little girl, my dad made me eat (yes, they did things like that back in the day) a raw clam…haven’t been able to put one in my mouth ever since; however I do make the best Clams Casino, Chowder, Baked Stuffed, etc….or at least that’s what I am told.  🙂

I think one reason Rob loves they so much is his remembrance of our clamming days in Port Jefferson, New York, when he, Jen and Bob would sit on the back of our boat eating clams and pitching the shells back into the ocean.  This particular day, they watched as Bob was shucking…

Port Jeff, NY

Port Jeff, NY

Open clams and place on a large sheet pan.
Shucked ClamsIn a large skillet, melt butter, add vegetables and cook until soft.

Saute VegetablesPlace sauteed vegetables over clams, add parmesan cheese, top with bacon and bake..ClamsTop with freshly squeezed lemon juice and or lemon wedges.

Baked Clams Casino

Baked Clams Casino

Clams Casino

3 dozen “littleneck” clams, shucked
(see video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRAcit6FOA)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup white wine (drinking quality)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 425°.  Place shucked clams in a large baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions, red pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add white wine (or stock seafood stock if you prefer), and lemon juice, simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Remove vegetables from heat.  Place 1 teaspoon of vegetables on top of clam, add grated parmesan cheese and 1 piece of bacon shaped to fit clam.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon wedges, if desired.


Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

A wonderful summer salad…enjoy…honey may be used in place of Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Ingredients:

1 small fresh fennel bulb
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ tsp. dried parsley
2 large orange’s, peel & segmented
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (about ½ orange)
2 tbsp. Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
Fresh fennel sprigs for garnish

Directions:
Cut off the top of the fennel at the base of the stalk and remove the outer layer of the bulb. Slice the bottom portion off the base of the bulb, leaving the root end intact. Thinly slice the trimmed fennel bulb into paper-thin slices.
Attractively arrange the fennel slices on a serving platter. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the fennel, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.
Combine the orange segments, orange juice, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, chopped mint in a small mixing bowl. Toss to combine and place the mixture over the sliced fennel. Garnish with fennel sprigs and serve at room temperature.