2cupsbread crumbsItalian-style Panko crumbs are great!
¼cupParmesan cheesegrated, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes
Add lemon juice, clams (with juice), hot sauce and salt
Take off the heat and add the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese (if using)¼
Put into a greased medium-sized casserole dish (8"x11" works well).
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn on the broiler
Add the dish back in and broil for about 3 minutes...until lightly browned on top (keep an eye on this...will brown quickly).
Serve with warm bread slices or crackers
No need to get expensive clams for this dip. Canned clams (with juice) can be found in the area of your supermarket where canned tuna fish is sold. You'll need three 6.5 oz cans (don't drain!). The tbsp of hot sauce does not add much spice to the dish. Just a little zest. We often add ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese when we stirring in the bread crumbs. Not 100% necessary, but really delicious! We love using Italian-style Panko bread crumbs, but any type will work just fine. You'll need a total of 2 cups. The dip can be made up to 24 hours in advance before baking. Keep in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap or foil. Be careful when placing the cooked dip under the broiler to slightly brown the top. Broilers vary, so keep an eye on it the dish and be sure it doesn't get too browned or burned.We serve the dip with pieces of warmed bruschetta or sliced baguettes that we have toasted with a little olive oil or butter. It's also great with Town House crackers, and cut veggies. The cooked dip will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.