In the Northeast, clams casino is a familiar dish on traditional menus. We rarely see the dish in New Orleans (in fact, we almost never eat clams). But I always loved the sauce, and find it spectacular baked on top of oysters on the half shell. It’s also not bad as a casserole with shrimp, but using more bacon.
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh garlic
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 anchovy, chopped
- 1/2 cup oyster water, strained (optional)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, strained
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaches only, chopped
- 2 Tbs. chopped green onions
- 24 large oysters
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
1. Fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain the bacon, but leave the fat in the pan.
2. Add the garlic, bell peppers, onion, thyme, crushed red pepper and anchovy. Cook until the vegetables are just tender. Add the oyster water (if used) and cook until it’s absorbed by the vegetables.
3. Add the remaining ingredients. Crumble the bacon and add, stirring everything to blend well.
4. Spoon the sauce atop oysters on shells or in small au gratin dishes. Sprinkle very lightly with bread crumbs. Bake on a preheated 450-degree oven until the oysters bubble and the sauce browns a little on top.
Makes enough sauce for about 24 oysters.