Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clams Casino

Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I do like me some seafood (as evidenced by the above photo of the Dancing Clams from Ivar's Restaurants - a local fav). I draw the line at raw oysters or anything overly slimy looking, but I love clams (except geoducks). Clam Chowder is my top soup and steamed clams with drawn butter are pretty darn good. Razor clams, for those in my neck of the woods, can be harvested in November and December (at least at my local beach, on specific days) so clams are an in-season treat. Not that I'm going to do the digging, mind you - I'll leave that to the local fishmonger shop. But wherever they come from, clams are good eating.

I heard recently that placing live clams in cool water with a handful of flour will force them to disgorge all sand prior to cooking. That's a trick that I am going to try when I make Clams Casino. This dish combines bacon and clams for a tasty treat. See Food Timeline for the lowdown, but it orginated around 1917. (As an aside, this dish also shares its name with a Burlesque dancer, Miss Clams Casino. That alone makes it worth checking out.) There are many recipe versions of this oldie but goodie, but check out the traditional version provided by Food Network. It calls for cherrystone clams but I think I'll try it with the local Razors, just for the heck of it. And if you are feeling really adventurous, give Tyler Florence's Clams Casino Pizza a gander. I like unusual pizza pie, but this might be going a bit too far even for me.

But however you enjoy them, give three cheers for a delicious bi-valve. If anyone tries the pizza, let me know how it goes.


Lorraine said...

I used to love clams. Then I spent 2 weeks on Martha's Vineyard and that was all we ate, every night and nearly every lunch and I grew right sick of them. To this day the only clammy thing I can abide is chowder.

It's a sad story, really.

Anonymous said...

Ah man...I was with you right up to bi-valve. heh heh, just kidding. But I must agree with you entirely about the burlesque dancer. That alone...

Clams said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I must say, I decided on the name while eating Clams Casino in Provincetown, MA.

Miss Clams Casino