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Clams Casino

Rock salt
24 littleneck or cherrystone clams, scrubbed
8 tbsp. butter, softened
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

Move oven rack to the top third of oven and pre-heat to 500.
Fill a large baking dish halfway with rock salt and set aside.
Shuck clams, discarding the top shell, and loosening the meat
from the bottom shell.  Put the clams in the shell into the
rock salt, shell side down.
Put butter, shallots, salt and pepper to taste, and paprika
in a small bowl and mix well.  Spoon 1 tsp. of butter mixture
on top of each clam and top with a 1-inch piece of bacon.
Bake clams until the edges of the bacon are crisp and the butter
is golden and bubbling, about 5 minutes.  Serve hot.


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