One of my all time favorite appetizers is Clams Casino. It's an item you rarely find on menus these days but it is truly a Classic Restaurant Dish. Check out my easy to make recipe.
You can open your clams the old fashioned way or use my shortcut and place the thoroughly rinsed clams in the freezer for a minimum of one hour up to a week. The clams will open slightly which will allow you to easily open them the remainder without risking cutting your hand.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Place sliced bacon and butter into a large saute pan or pot and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes
Add chopped bell peppers and onion and continue to cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated Romano cheese, bread crumbs, black pepper and oregano. Mix well.
Place casino mixture into the refrigerator to allow the fixture to firm up. Stir Mixture occasionally so all the ingredients stay well blended.
This will take at least 2 hours, so give yourself time.
Open clams, running a knife under the clam to make sure it is unattached from the shell. Place opened clams on a cookie sheet until ready to fill.
Remove casino mix from refrigerator. Using a tablespoon add the prepared Casino mix to the clam. Make a nice mound of it on top of the clam by pressing the casino mix into the clam firmly with your hand.
Repeat this process until all of the clams are stuffed.
Place the clams into a preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon and tops begin to get nicely browned.
Remove carefully from the baking dish. Re-stuff clams with mix that fell out if necessary.
Serve clams on a serving dish or on a bed of rock salt with lemons and parsley as a garnish.
*I used multi-colored peppers for visual effect. You can use just red or green if you like. Any type of white or yellow onion is fine. I prefer Vidalia onions.
*Use dry oregano, fresh does not work as well in this dish
*Casino mix can stay refrigerated for at least 3 days before you use it.
*Clams can remain in the freezer unused for up to a week.
*Once clams are stuffed they can remain refrigerated for 1-2 days or frozen for later use.