There is no place finer in the world to me than where I live on the “Crystal Coast” of NC. The seafood is plentiful & the history of native fishermen is so intriguing. We frequently visit Ocracoke Village on the Outer Banks of NC in the summer, staying with friends at Teeter’s Campground. The locals are friendly and there are no words to describe how good the food is. We even fished our boat up to Ocracoke a few times last summer; it’s nice having our own little “ferry”. We even had a few “friends” ride along side of us on the way…..I LOVE to clam. Believe it or not, I asked for my own clam rake for our first wedding anniversary. And of course I got it A few native Ocracoke locals, who have become good friends of ours, were nice enough to guide us to their clamming “honey hole” on our last boat trip. Clamming is good exercise and you don’t walk away “empty-handed”…..we sure didn’t that day! When we returned to the campground, our friend made us clams casino. It was truly a treat that I will always remember.
The recipe I’m sharing is from one of my new favorite cookbooks, The Outer Banks Cookbook. I like to shop locally when I can, & I purchased this book from Ginny Gordon’s Kitchen Supply Store in Morehead City, NC. One lucky person will win a copy of this cookbook!
To enter for the drawing, simply comment below this post, and tell me what your favorite seafood dish is, and if you have another seafood recipe cookbook that you enjoy. One random “commenter” will win this cookbook; the winner will be announced at the end of the day on Thursday, January 19th. Here is the recipe for my favorite clams casino:
- 24 medium size clams
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- Cracker meal, (made from crunching 12 saltine crackers with a rolling pin)
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 6 cooked slices of bacon, cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Fry bacon over medium high heat; cook until crispy.
- Place on paper towels to absorb grease.
- Once bacon slices have cooled, cut each slice into 4 pieces. I've found that kitchen scissors work well for me:
- Crush saltine crackers to make the "cracker meal" using a rolling pin:
- Combine softened butter & minced garlic in a small bowl; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Open, or "shuck" the clams. My husband made this nifty little gadget to open clams with inexpensive supplies from our local hardware store:
- Once you open each clam, loosen the meat from the bottom shell. Leave the clam open-face in it bottom shell & place in a shallow baking pan.
- Sprinkle the clams lightly with the cracker meal, then dab approximately 1/2 tsp garlic butter over each clam.
- Top with a slice of the Swiss cheese (cut to the size of the clam) and then place 1/4 slice of the cooked bacon over the Swiss cheese:
- Place in oven & bake for approximately 8 minutes, or until the clams are bubbly & hot.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Source: The Outer Banks Cookbook