Recipes for clams and general information.
In all areas check to see if and when there is a season for shell fish in this area. In some areas the water becomes to warm and the shell fish become bad for human consumption or they may lie to close to a septic run of. It is not a rule but the area where you dig clams should be well drained each day and a fresh supply of salt water replenishing the area, such as what happens with the rising and falling of the tides.
There are two general types, the soft and the hard or quahog. Hard shells include three classes: the little neck (small), the cherry stone (medium) and the large chowder, or known to some people as bar claims 4 ½ inches in width. The little neck and cherry stone may be used uncooked.
They are sold in the shell by the pound, but keep in mind the bar variety are much larger and there for in a recipe you don’t need as many. It only takes 8 big ones to make a dozen. (Little bit of hummer)
If they are purchased in the shell, discard any which are not tightly closed or which do not close when lightly tapped. They are unsafe for use.
Cover them with cold water and sprinkle corn meal over the top, using 1 cup for each peck. Let stand 3 hours or overnight to allow them to take in the meal and work out any sand, which might be in them, then scrub the shells well and open with a strong knife as for oysters. The larger ones are usually steamed open.
COOK IN THEIR SHELL
Steamed30 clams in the shellJuice of ½ lemon6 tablespoons butterSalt and pepper
Vinegar can be used instead of lemon juice.The hard-shelled ones used for steaming. Scrub the shell with a brush and wash free of sand in several pals of water. Steam the them in a steamer for 10 minutes, or until opened. While they are steaming, melt the butter and mix with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lay a napkin on a hot platter and place them in their shells on this.
Cover with a second napkin and serve. In eating remove them from the shell and dip it in the sauce. The thin, tough part known as the neck or siphon is not eaten.
ROASTED IN THE OVEN—Prepare them as for steaming, place in a pan, set the pan in a hot oven (425 degrees F.) and bake until the shells open. Remove the top shell, being careful not to spill the liquor. Arrange them in the half shell on plates and on each place a piece of butter and a little pepper and salt. Add lemon juice if desired.
Serve immediately. This is true as well for other shell fish such as mussels and oysters.
CLAMBAKE—The seashore is the natural place for a clambake, but it is possible to have one at any place where there is a flat open space. Preparations should begin several hours before the time set for the meal. Any shell fish can be use in this manner or all of them.
Make a circle of flat stones—from 2 to 4 feet in diameter, according to the size of the party, and on this circle build a hot fire of wood. Let this burn for 2 to 3 hours. Than rake off the fire and cover the hot stones with fresh seaweed.
On this lay them in their shells; also, if desired, oysters, potatoes in the skins, corn in the husk, and any other food that may be steamed. Cover with a thick layer of seaweed, and over all spread a large piece of sailcloth (tarp) fasten down the edges with stones. Leave for 2 to 3 hours; remove the cloth and the top layer of seaweed, and rake out the clams and other foods as needed.
The same ingredients may be cooked in a large kettle with the bottom covered with and wet cheesecloth between the layers, but this lacks the fine flavor of the real clambake.
FRIED SOFT CLAMS1 pint soft clams1 egg, beaten2 cups fine bread crumbs or corn flourSalt
Wash the soft ones and dry between towels. Dip in crumbs or corn flour, in beaten egg and again in crumbs. Fry in hot deep fat (375 degrees F.) until browned. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt. They may be dipped in batter as for fried oysters instead of in egg and crumbs. Serve with tartar sauce.
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