|Our wood-fired clams casino on the offset grill with brick and the finished product|
Have you ever noticed how many ingredients go with clams? This low fat, high protein seafood also has many beneficial minerals. They are also one of the most sustainable seafood resources.
I thought I would provide an easy wood-fired cooking method that can be done on your charcoal grill (you certainly can modify a few setup items and do this on the gas grill as well using wood) and produce the most flavorful clams casino out there.
Go find some similarly sized clams, fire up the grill, and get ready for this recipe and technique to become your favorite.
Hot Coal Grilling
Our recipe is quite simple: gather together
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 oz. sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped shallots
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced (you can use pre-minced garlic)
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 18 medium clams, shucked, bottom shells reserved
Before starting on the casino filling, it’s important that you get the grill ready. First, you’ll want to get a chimney starter of charcoal going. I’m using SmokinLicious® charwood in place of traditional charcoal as this is a partially charred product that will also provide for some hardwood flavor infusion. Once lit, the chimney starter needs to burn down the charwood to hot coals – no flame should be visible when you dump this into the grill.
For my charcoal grill, I’ve set a mesh screen at the base of my kettle grill to allow me to retain as many hot coals as possible. The screen helps to prevent small coals from falling through the charcoal area. I’ve also covered brick with heavy-duty foil to act as a heat conductor and radiator. This will help to keep a constant temperature during the actual cooking process. The brick will also separate the cooking area from the fuel area. A bit of unlit charwood is also added to the charcoal half of the grill so these bits can ignite from the hot coals and sustain the heat level more evenly.