Posted by: scootrah | April 25, 2013

Beyond Clam Chowder: Fritters!

Looks as if this will be the last razor clam dig of the season out on the coast, and it should be a great one with the glorious weather forecast and the minus tides. Grab a license, a bucket, a clam gun and GO!

Todd clam digs

I pretty much hated all seafood BUT clams when I was a kid. Because my grandparents had a commercial fish cannery and fresh fish market, it seemed like they were always abundant. On spring mornings, my parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, brothers and cousins would all pile into assorted vehicles and head down to the beach. I don’t know that us kids would really dig too many clams, but we always ended up with several limits. My fondest memory is always Easter weekend – we’d go for a morning dig, and returning to the house, my mom and grandma would start cleaning the clams. The rest of us would head out to the yard for an egg hunt, and after it was over a wonderful breakfast of fresh orange juice, bacon and fried razor clams or clam fritters would be ready. And boy could my gram make a killer fritter! She used a lot of egg, so they were almost like a thin crepe filled with moist, juicy clams. Gram must have been at the stove for an hour cooking those fritters, because we never ran out of them.

Today, I’m rarely able to get to the beach for a dig, but my mom and brother Todd are carrying on the tradition and always happy to share their spoils with me. While mom cleans the clams, my brother has become the “Fritter Master”, with a variation on gram’s recipe that is delicious. Using less egg and more cracker crumbs, Todd’s fritter is more like a loose patty than a runny crepe, and it’s good. I like them at room temperature just as much as hot from the pan. As a kid, the right condiment for them always seemed to be ketchup, but my grown-up taste buds prefer a sprinkling of sea salt and just a bit of Tapatio – YUM.

Our family fritters aren’t really so much of a “recipe” as they are “just do this” – you can’t really screw these up as long as they’re not cooked at too high a temp or cooked too long – the clams will get tough and rubbery – and you can adjust it to fit your taste and “style” you like. Make sure to have a fresh pot of coffee to serve them with and definitely some crispy, thick-sliced bacon. Just writing about it makes me think I may have to call in sick to work this weekend and head out to Westport for some clams –

A fresh limit of razor clams, ready to be transformed into fritters

Brother Todd’s Clam Fritters  

  • One limit of razor clams (15) – cleaned and ground (medium), and any juice. You should have between 2 and 3 cups depending on the size of the clams.
  • One package saltine crackers, crushed (36 squares)
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. Johnny’s seafood salt, or some garlic salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and let stand about 5 minutes.

Heat a pan over medium and add enough oil to cover the bottom generously – it doesn’t work well with just cooking spray or a non-stick pan!

Drop by tablespoon into the hot oil, and turn when starting to brown, probably three minutes per side.

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Responses

  1. […] He’s famous for his double chocolate cookies, roasts a fierce prime rib and his razor clam fritters are so delicious I can eat almost an entire limit of clams in one sitting. But next to the […]

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  2. […] my mom and brother and I made some up to throw on the grill with the big T-bones and prawn skewers Todd had for our dinner, and he casually said while devouring his second helping, “You have to top […]

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