Clams Casino

4 appetizer servings

  • 2 dozen Littleneck clams (175 count-the largest size available)
  • 8 ounces garlic compound butter (formed into a log about 1-inch in diameter)
  • 1 cup rendered andouille sausage
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Hold the clams in a cloth and insert a knife between the shells. Pry the shells apart, then sever the hinge muscle and discard the top shell. Loosen the muscle in the lower shell. Slice the compound butter into 24 equal slices. Place a slice of the butter on each clam. In a food processor, combine the rendered andouille and bread crumbs together. Combine until the ingredients are incorporated. Season with Essence. Place a tablespoon the andouille crust over the butter. Using your hands, pat the crust firmly into the clam shell. Top each shell with the bacon pieces. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven. Place the clams on a platter and garnish with parsley and Essence.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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