Happy as a Clam Casino

For me summer was always Cape Cod...our beaches and seafood - lot's of seafood. Currently I live in LA and yes we have beaches and while I do love it here, it's just not the same. I miss my east coast dunes and I miss our versions of the seafood. One of my favorite dishes is clams casino and while you can find it in Los Angeles it never tastes like home (they never use the anchovy paste???).This is a great appetizer to have for friends on a warm summer night sitting by the pool or staring at the waves. Here's my version...

24 Cherrystone or Littleneck clams, shucked and left on the half-shell 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 4 Tbs. Pimento diced 4 Tbs. Green pepper, finely diced 1/2 Cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup minced onion 1 1/2 tsp. Anchovy paste 4 thick slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 Lemon, quartered


Preheat the oven to 400 F.

After scrubbing the clams cover them with ice until the shells can be opened. Leave them on the half shell.

Lay the clams in their shells on a sheet pan.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, pimento, green pepper, breadcrumbs, minced onions and anchovy paste. Spread this mixture over the open clams.

Cover each clam with a bacon piece and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and bacon is slightly crispy. Serve at once on a bed of rock salt with lemon wedges and warm French bread to dip into the butter!