Big Guy made good use of our proximity to the Alsea Bay in combination with a minus tide and came home with his limit of cockles yesterday. He knows exactly where to find the beauties thanks to our annual summer trek to these Oregon shores. It's just darn hard to believe that we're now living full time in the place we've spent the past 7 years dreaming about. We've pinched ourselves and each other a fair number of times this week bragging about our good fortune.
He steamed, shelled, chopped and got the frilly little cockles all ready for me to whip up one of his favorite clammy treats in the form of Clam's Casino. Instead of stuffing the individual shells with the tasty bacon, sautéed onions and pepper mixture, the filling went into a couple of little shell shaped casseroles instead. Served beside a tower of lemon flavored pasta, it's a meal fit for my king and he was about as happy as a clam, I might add. MMM - exactly how happy can a clam be? Ever wondered?
Clams Casino Casserole with Lemon Spaghetti (from JBug's Kitchen adapted from Giada at Foodnetwork.com)
5 slices bacon, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped steamed clams
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Coarse ground pepper to taste
10 Ritz crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
Sauté finely chopped bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, reserving bacon fat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and chili peppers and sauté until onion is soft. Add white wine and simmer briefly to reduce liquid. Add chopped clams and heat briefly. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with parsley.
Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Preheat broiler. Turn clam mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with cooked bacon. Combine crackers and parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of casserole. Drizzle with melted butter. Place under broiler and broil until browned and crispy on top.
1/2 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
Cooking liquid from pasta as needed
Cook pasta per package directions to al dente stage. Combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Drain pasta well reserving some liquid. Return pasta to pot. Over low heat combine pasta with olive oil, lemon mixture. Add parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to keep pasta moist. Warm until pasta absorbs all liquid. Garnish with parsley.
A year ago - Summer Pudding
Two year's ago - Korean Barbecue Shortribs