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CLAMS CASINO RECIPE

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Clams casino became a favorite of mine when my brother Billy would dig clams on Martha’s Vineyard.  Billy would come back to the house with a pail full of cherrystones.  We would spend “some time” at the kitchen counter shucking these open.   I always passed the hardest ones over to Billy to open. Sometimes you just have to let the calms “rest” and forget you are nearby.

Note to Non-Shuckers:  Read below to find out the easiest way to open the clams without worrying about cutting your hand off during the process.

Once you get the hang of opening the clams, it becomes a competitive part of making the dish, and making some fun memories too.  ~Sheryl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 Medium sized cherrystone or littleneck clams
  • 2 TBSP unlsalted butter
  • 3 Strips center-cut bacon, each sliced into 6 pieces (18 total)
  • 3 TBSP finely diced red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 TBSP finely grated Parmesan
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • Rock salt (or Kosher salt)

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and saute until cooked but not quite crisp.  Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel.  Reserve butter in pan and add red pepper and saute 2 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.

Turn off heat and stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pinch of salt and pepper.   Reserve until needed.

For those of you who do not know how to “shuck” a clam, I will give you the easy way out :

Add about 2 inches of water to a pot.  Bring to rapid boil.  Add clams and cover.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Pull out open clams.  Cover and cook another minute.  Pull out open clams.  Repeat until all clams are opened.  It’s CRITICAL to remove the clams as soon as they open.  Allow clams to cool until they can be handled.  Twist and pull the clamshells apart and remove the clam.  Place the clam back into the deeper of the two shell halves.

Spread the rock salt in a baking dish.  Set the clams on top of the salt and press down slightly.  This will keep the clams from moving and spilling out their contents.

Spoon the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of each clamshell.

Top with a piece of bacon.

Broil on high until tops are crisp and brown ( 4- 6 minutes).

Sprinkle on fresh parsley and serve while hot with lemon wedges.

Brussel Sprouts ~ Side Dish

From Natalie:

This is a really nice way to prepare Brussels sprouts.  Very tasty! The kids may even try them!  My daughter helped me make this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of Brussels sprouts
  • 4 strips of bacon (I used very low-fat turkey bacon)
  • 1 cup of fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Jane’s Crazy Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder

Cook bacon in frying pan.  Take out of pan and place on a paper towel.  Rinse Brussels sprouts and trim off ends.  Cut each one in half. Put a little olive oil on the bottom of the frying pan and add garlic powder. 

Add Brussels sprouts and brown in the oil.  Add salt and ground pepper. (Not too much salt. Although I used low sodium, the broth is salted). 

After the sprouts are brown, about 10 minutes, add the broth.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Crumble the bacon and add to the pan; simmer approximately 5  more minutes. 

The bacon will get soggy if it is in the pan too long.  The simmering should reduce the broth so that there is very little liquid in the pan.  Enjoy!

Hearty Baked Beans

From Krisann:

This baked bean recipe can be served as a side or as a meal itself.  The combination of beans and meat make it very hearty and delicious.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can cannelli beans, drained
  • 2 cans chix peas, drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1lb bacon
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • couple teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup red cooking wine

In a large pot add the beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and cooking wine.  Set aside.  In a medium frying pan cook ground beef, drain off fat and add to the pot with the beans.  In the same frying pay, cook the bacon, when the bacon is cooked, drain off 1/2 the fat and cook the chopped onion in the bacon fat.

Crumble the bacon and add to beans and meat pot.  Add the onions.  Cook over low to heat for 2 hrs.

HEAT OF THE SUMMER POTATO SALAD RECIPE

From a tiny BEACH kitchen: 

No mayo? No egg?  Are you SURE this is potato salad?  Well, it is not your great aunt’s, or even your grandmother’s potato salad you remember seeing every cookout in the tupperware container.    My Heat of the Summer Potato Salad is quite delightful in it’s own summery way.   Did someone say SUMMER ?  No, I didn’t think so.  South of Boston, Massachusetts, it has been raining for 40 days/nights.   I swore I saw the Ark leading the boats into the fog this morning.      Ok. Ok. Ok, so I just woke up and swore.  Anyhoo…. the point is you won’t have to worry about the mayo & eggs on a hot day.  There are none.

We’re having a Salad Contest over at the GHYC on Sunday.  This will be my entry.  It’s quite a competitive club (wink).  You know-bragging rights among foodies is not to be taking lightly.  Great men have battled over less.  The club front runner? Rita! My money’s on her to be the one to beat.  Any takers? ( Watch for Peaches’ post coming soon under salads.)  No rules to this contest  other than you want to be able to put your “salad” on a plate with a hot dog or hamburger.  Simple.  With Memorial Day coming soon, you can easily double this recipe for a crowd.

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 2 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1/2 pound bacon, crisp, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup shallots (or scallions, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water covering potatoes.  Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife.  Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel.   Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cut into bite sized pieces.

Fry the bacon til crisp, chop into pieces and reserve some bacon fat.  Saute the scallions in a tbsp of the bacon fat, very slowly, till soft.  Pour the scallions over the hot potatoes with the hot oil.  

Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and the chopped parsley, onion, celery and crumbled bacon.  

Toss very gently but thoroughly.  Salt and pepper to taste.

  Serve at room temperature.  Cover and refridgerate leftovers.

~SHERYL

Bacon Pesto Farfalle Pasta

From Natalie:

A tasty twist to pesto…add bacon.  Really delicious and so easy!

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 (small to medium sized) cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 4 strips of bacon (I like the fully cooked bacon, less grease)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box (14.5 oz.) Farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • Fresh parmesan cheese to top it off!

Using a food processor, add the basil, garlic, oil and bacon (cooked until crispy) until blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Boil pasta until tender.

Add pesto to pasta and toss.  Add tomatoes, sliced.  Top with fresh grated parmesan.

Enjoy!

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