Friday, July 14, 2006

Fresh Clams? Make Bea's Clamcakes!

Clams (steamers) on left. Quahogs on right.

Last weekend, I went to my Mother's house well prepared. What does that mean? Well, I assumed that my brother who lives next door to my Mom would be going clamming and I wanted to be ready to bring some home. So I left my house with a little cooler hoping I'd be filling it up with clams for the return trip. My plan paid off. My brother had just dug some amazing clams on Cape Cod. So before I left, I put some ice in the cooler, loaded it up with clams, threw it over my shoulder and hopped on the train back to Beantown.

When I got home, I thought about steaming the clams but all the sudden I had a craving for my mother's Clamcakes which are stellar. No clam shack can compare. Not Woodman's. Nobody. So I quickly called her up and asked her for the recipe. I had never made them myself before but I was up for the challenge. Turns out they're pretty easy. You just have to steam the clams first, chop them up and then prepare the batter for frying. I recommend serving them with an ear of corn and a cold beer. They're fantastic. I hope you try them. Let me know if you do. Enjoy! And thanks for the clams, Dick. They were sweet and delicious as always.

Note: If you're not fortunate enough to have a family member who goes clamming every weekend (and I'm sure very few of you do), I recommend the next best thing - visiting your local fish market. New Deal in Cambridge is top notch.

• About 17 clams (steamers) or quahogs
• 2 cups flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• A dash of pepper
• A dash of paprika
• 1 tbsp butter, softened
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup clam juice
• 1/4 milk

How to:
1. Steam the clams in water. Be sure to have enough water in the pan to reserve 3/4 cup of clam juice to put in the batter.
2. When the clams are done, remove the "necks" (the black thing attached to the neck of the clam) and chop the clams into small pieces.
3. Beat 2 eggs.
4. Add clam juice and milk
5. Mix in chopped clams, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, paprika and butter.
6. Put vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or a deep fryer. Ensure there's enough oil to cover the fritters but be sure to leave at least 3 inches from the top as the oil will rise when you drop in the batter.
7. Put a teaspoon full of batter per clamcake into hot vegetable oil. You'll know the oil is ready when you flick a bit of water in the heated oil and it sizzles.
8. After a few minutes, turn the clamcake and see if it has browned. If not, turn back. Both sides should be brown.
9. Work in batches. You can usually cook 3 - 4 clamcakes at a time.
10. Remove from oil when done and lightly salt.
11. Eat as is or squeeze a little lemon on top. You can even serve a tartar dipping sauce on the side but I don't think they need it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After you called for the recipe, I decided to make some this past Thursday. You can't beat making these clamcakes with fresh clams. Loved your pictures!

1:08 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

thanks mom. this is a classic. everyone should give it a try.

9:42 AM  
Blogger mini-me said...

oh my ... they look delicious!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Minhaj said...

Fantastic! Not at all like the bready Clam Fitters you sometimes see in restaurants - we clam every weekend and are always looking for great clam recipes!

7:21 PM  

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