This is the first use of the Qikiqtarjuaq Clams my wife bought while I was away on Court circuit. For this recipe, I am going to deep fry the whole clam rather than just the muscular ‘strip’ so it will be, as they say in New England and the Maritimes, ‘Fried Clam with Belly’. I have always loved fried clams but I try to avoid too many deep-fried foods (and these can be very rich) so I am just doing three each for me and the wife as a little appetizer…
I have already ‘shucked’ the clams. If you are unclear on how to do this, follow the link in the first paragraph above for a pictorial explanation.
Since the ‘neck’ (the long phallic thing sticking out from the clam) can be a little chewy, I have made a series of incisions along the length to offset this a little.
Rather than a batter, which can be a bit much for clams, I am using a cornmeal and flour coating with an egg and cream wash. For the latter, just beat together 1 egg with a quarter cup of cream and for the coating, mix together:
- 2/3 cup Yellow Cornmeal;
- 1/3 cup White Flour;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper.
You can certainly jazz up the seasoning if you like … paprika, curry powder, etc. … but for this dish I am keeping things very simple. The amount of coating is more than is needed for 6 clams but I have another use for the rest. If you like, you can make a smaller batch or use more clams.
To prepare the clams, dip them one by one in the egg wash and the toss in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess.
Pre-heat your deep-frying oil to a healthy medium and when it is ready fry the clams three at a time and drain them on paper towels. Serve while still piping hot so that the coating remains nice and crispy.
This is very much a New England sort of preparation and, while Tartar Sauce would be a common accompaniment, I just went with some lemon wedges.
My wife’s take on it was… ‘I like the penises, but I don’t like the green bit’ … meaning she liked the strip meat but not the soft parts. Personally, I think the ‘belly’ is the bit that really adds flavor but I also would like smaller clams rather than these huge ones. I’ll still fry clams in future but this size is, I think, better suited to other preparations…