In a large pot on medium heat gently cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and 1 tbsp of fat from the pot. Drain and wipe pot.
Sauté onions, garlic, peppers, fennel seeds, and bay leaf with a small amount of reserved bacon fat on medium heat until translucent and aromatic, approximately 3 minutes. Add in white wine and cook until almost dry.
Add in the remaining butter to melt then mix in flour to make a roux. Cook mixture on medium heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in milk and clam juice.
On medium high heat, bring liquid mixture to a simmer and remove from heat again, mix in cheese, bacon, and clam meat. Season to taste.
To make crumb topping, mix cheese, chopped parsley and bread crumb together and place on top of dip in stuffed mushrooms on in serving bowl. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden.
To plate: Serve hot casino dip with grilled baguettes, assorted chips, or stuffed into mushroom caps.
Each can yields 8 sharing portions of Clams Casino Dip and each appetizer can be shared by 3-4 people. At 385 g per portion, this includes 175 g of clams and juice per serving.
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