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Caramelized Bacon with Clams Casino Broth
1 pound slab smoked bacon
12ea littleneck clams
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 ea calabrian chiles, sliced into 1/8 inch rings
2 tsp fennel bulb-minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp Italian parsley-chopped
1 tsp butter
2 tsp bacon bread crumbs (recipe follows)
Fresh ground black pepper
• Cut the bacon into four equal pieces, approximately one-inch wide by three-inches long by one-inch tall.
• Place the bacon in a saute pan and cook slowly over medium heat. Turn bacon and allow it to caramelize on all sides.
• Place cooked bacon in 200-degree oven to keep warm. Reserve 3 tsp of the rendered bacon fat.
• Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of bacon fat to pan.
• Add fennel, garlic, clams, and chiles to pan and toast. Deglaze the pan with the wine, cover, and allow the clams to open.
• Reduce heat to low, remove clams from the shells. Slice the clams then return to the broth.
• Add parsley and butter to pan, and whisk to incorporate them into the broth.
• Divide clam broth between four shallow bowls,
• Place reserved bacon atop the broth. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over each dish.
Bacon Bread Crumbs
• Heat reserved bacon fat over low heat. Add 2 tsp of panko bread crumbs and stir until toasted and dry.