Clams Casino Recipe

This is a really simple and delicious recipe if you enjoy clams (as I do), and if you don't mind some extra cholesterol in your diet...everything in moderation, right? I wish I could follow my own advice. The beauty of these is that they can be made in advance and just pop them in the oven when friends or guests arrive; they can also be frozen.  Anyhow, the recipe is below.

Yield: 36 pieces
4 slices bacon, minced
1/2 small onion, peeled and minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
4 ounces fresh bread crumbs
36 littleneck clams, scrubbed

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until just done, drain most of the fat from the pan, then add the onion and bell pepper and cook for an additional couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Stir in the breadcrumbs and transfer the topping to a small bowl and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Using a clam knife, open the clams and loosening the meat and leaving it in the bottom shell; discard the top shell. Preheat an oven to 375F. Arrange the clams on a baking sheet and top them with the chilled stuffing. Bake the clams for about 10-15 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Serve hot.