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Florida Clams Casino

4 slices lean bacon, chopped fine, 1/2 cup Florida onion, chopped, 1 large Florida garlic clove, minced, 1/2 cup Florida red bell pepper, finely diced, 1/2 cup Florida green bell pepper, finely diced, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, 12 middleneck Florida clams, shucked (reserve bottom shells), rock salt for lining the pan and platter, salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove to absorbent paper to drain. Wipe skillet clean. Over low heat, cook onion, garlic, bell peppers and oregano in olive oil until peppers are crisp-tender. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Stir in chopped bacon, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper to taste. In a jellyroll pan filled with a layer of rock salt to balance the shells, arrange clam meat on the reserved shells. Top each clam with the bell pepper mixture. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through. Serve clams on a platter lined with a layer of rock salt. Note: Bell pepper mixture may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Serves 2 as an appetizer

Recipe courtesy of