Fried Clams

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Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 10:22:31 (permalink)
Sundancer,
I sent you an e-mail with picture of the clams. Hope it gets to you.
Sundancer7
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 10:51:45 (permalink)
I got the email with the pic of the huge clam. I hd no idea they were so large and had such huge necks.

I forwarded the pics along to Bushie and "The Mayor".

Thanks. How do they cook those huge things. Bushie wanted to Know what the first people thought when they put one of those things in their mouth?

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 11:23:02 (permalink)
Tell Bushie most didn't do it on the half shell and those that did belonged to a little tribe of their own.
mayor al
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 12:40:39 (permalink)

Here are the products of TRASK's digging. I must admit this isn't my idea of something I would award a "Presentation Ribbon" for , if served as they look!

But cooked up in chowder or other clammy dishes, or as Trask describes below they would be Great!


lleechef
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 12:57:05 (permalink)
I wasn't privvy to the photo but I'm imagining a razor clam with this HUGE proboscus just "hangin out" which does look kind of nasty.

If it was indeed a large clam, one would chop it up for chowder or "stuffies". Whole on the half-shell is not an option. Save that for the littlenecks, countnecks or Manilla clams.
Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 15:22:46 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Quite a photo. Setting aside any humor for a minute, what are the best recipes for a clam that large? I mean I can see it chopped up in a chowder, or strips in a sauce on pasta and some things like that....but served whole??


Of course you can use them in chowder, clam cakes, fritters, etc. but I normally dig quahogs or cockles for that. These I like best just simply fried both bodies and necks. The bodies are split open and cleaned of gills and the dark stomach contents but are fried along with the necks. And no, lleechef, the razor clams are unmisteakingly oblong and are dug on the sandy shore (they move)and are more subject to red tides while the Gaper (Blue, Empire, Horseneck)are found in the bays and estuaries where the red tides have less influence.
mayor al
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 15:54:27 (permalink)

Are these strictly a West Coast Clam?
Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 16:07:01 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


Are these strictly a West Coast Clam?


Here's some info I found that will answer most questions:

http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/WWW/macsis/lists/M060010.htm

SL
Hotdog-Gal
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/06 18:39:56 (permalink)
Gotta say Lenny and Joe's Fishtale in Madison and Westbrook CT. Best Fried Clams I've had so far.
lleechef
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/07 01:36:15 (permalink)
Give me a carton of fried clams at the Clam Box in Ipswich and I'll be happy. I'm not especially in love with west coast clams. But the fish, crab, shrimp, scallops and oysters are unsurpassed!
pbanjo
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 08:26:01 (permalink)
I must agree with Hotdoggal. I attended college New London and made weekly treks to Lenny and Joe's. They are as good as any I've had in New England. I visited the area again last summer and, thanks to a Roadfood review, was pleasently surprised to find Capt. Scott's Lobster Dock in downtown New London. If only they had been open when I was in school! Both are far better than Abbott's in Noank (overpriced & remote) or The Sea Swirl in Mystic (overpriced & not remote enough).
lobster
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 16:10:53 (permalink)
Trask,

You are missing the point of Al the mayor’s question. He wants to know why no one on the west coast serves whole belly soft shell fried clams (Ipswich style, New England style). Back in New England shucked soft shells clams are deep fried in a coating of corn and wheat flour producing what I consider to be the best tasting fried clam. Part of this has to do with the fact the belly is not removed after shucking, and left to add a flavor burst of the ocean. The other has to do with the corn and wheat coating and deep frying itself. In Oregon the most clams have the belly removed because of the grit and is fried in a variety of crumbs, breading or batter, but none (that I have seen) resembling the corn and wheat flour coating. I love the razor and other native clams. They have allot of clam flavor, but it is different from the soft shell.

Next time I buy or dig some razors or gapers I am going to fry them with an Ipswich coating and see what I think. The nice thing about the soft shell is they are considered a non-native species and can be dug in addition to your keep of native clams. So after you dig your razors, gapers or other native clams you can gather an additional 36 soft shells as a bonus. Most people ignore them as they are found in different areas (less saline areas in the upper estuary, and in the upper tidal zone), and because they are not considered as good as the natives by some people (I think they are great).

So why don’t any restaurants sell soft shell fried Ipswich style clams in Oregon? One can only guess because no one has tried to make money commercially on the soft shells. I will have to dig and fry my own whenever I get a chance.

With all this discussion I need to look at the upcoming tides this spring and plan a trip to the coast now that I am craving some clams. I have never harvested any gapers before, but after seeing the ones Trask dug I am ready to get muddy. I love harvesting the ocean!

Lobster
Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 16:33:28 (permalink)
Lobster,
I thought I answered Al by saying that I think the razors overshadow the softshells as well as the gapers. I arrived in Coos Bay yesterday (I'm on my in-laws computer) and am preparing to get my gapers in a couple of hours when it's low tide. I'll go into the local Charleston fish market and ask about the softshells and post back what they say. I agree and think it is an untapped resource for most here. I remember a few years back there was a restaurant near Tillamook that served them but was always out of them when I asked. New owners now and not on the menu but I'll be on the lookout.

Trask
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 17:29:13 (permalink)
If you feel the need to remove the grit from the bellies just put the clams in a bucket with a layer of corn meal, add water, and the clams will take in the corn meal and expel the grit.
lobster
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 18:19:57 (permalink)
I hope you get your limit Trask. I have never clammed at Coos Bay but I here that it is great. Have a good time and enjoy playing in the mud and eating your harvest. If you want a recipe for the New England style coating let me know.

Michael you are correct about the cornmeal. I usually add some salt to the water also if I am going to leave them in the water for long, otherwise the clams can drown in the fresh water.
Sundancer7
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 19:43:14 (permalink)
I got to hand it to you guys. You know your clams, how to work with them to make them better and the trick about corn meal to get them to expel the grit is a great trick.

The pic that Trask sent me of the Oregon clams was almost obscene but I am sure they are very good when prepared as he suggested.

I think I would really enjoy some fresh clams. I do not think I have ever had them although I have had the clam strips at the Clam Shack. those were good but I am sure they are totally different than the west coast species.

Paul E. Smith
knoxville, TN
lobster
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 20:11:26 (permalink)
Sundancer,

The gaper clam (the clams in the photo) isn’t nicknamed the horseneck for nothing. It does remind one of an anatomical part of a horse (just not the neck). The geoduck clam found out west is much larger and even more obscene.
Trask
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 21:10:35 (permalink)
Well, finished clamming although I was the only one present since the afternoon low tide was still about a foot above mean low. Windy and not enough ground showing but I did manage to get a few up high and have them ready for tomorrow's snack. Not a worthy picture like the earlier ones I got.
I spoke with the woman at the local fish shop and she said the softshell clams were not in demand and did not provide the profit like the razors. Even the big gapers were more labor intensive to clean and were mostly sold whole in the shell by divers. The geoducks are found more around north Oregon or Washington and have a strong taste that may turn off some people. I've had them and enjoy them but not as delicious as others.
The corn meal clean is a good way to go but not for clams like the large gapers. Those you physically remove the dark substance by gently scraping the stomach area after splitting the body open while the necks are soaking in warm/hot water so you can easily remove the dark outer skin. I sent Sundancer the pic of the necks frying if he cares to post. I'll be heading back to the east coast this Sept. and will definitly try some northeast clams.
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/04/08 21:48:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by lobster

I hope you get your limit Trask. I have never clammed at Coos Bay but I here that it is great. Have a good time and enjoy playing in the mud and eating your harvest. If you want a recipe for the New England style coating let me know.

Michael you are correct about the cornmeal. I usually add some salt to the water also if I am going to leave them in the water for long, otherwise the clams can drown in the fresh water.

I would here in Ohio, but I always used saltwater in Connecticut. I assumed anyone digging clams would have plenty of saltwater around.
katieoaks
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/08 08:45:00 (permalink)
Some Ipswich clammers are wearing new hats, embroidered with a softshell clam and "Clam War 2006". Competition from local seafood distributors is heating up. It is being said that one distributor is looking to freeze 55,000 gallons of clams for inventory when the flats get closed bt red-tide. Remember the Clam Famine of 2005?
Jimeats
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/10 15:04:37 (permalink)
Those hats the diggers are wearing is refering to the Great Debate taking place on Beacon Hill about the nameing of the state bi-valve. There should be a fillabuster comming soon on the argument of weather it's the Ipswich steamer or the upper Cape area clam called a cherrystone or Quohog clam dug in the Plymouth Duxbury area and all the way down to Wellfleet. My tax dollars hard at work. I hope it's a roll call vote because when I go to the polls in November it will definitly be a deciding factor on my Vote.Chow Jim
Suds
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 08:44:55 (permalink)
I live in Ipswich and the hats refer to price wars for clams. The've been around since at least 1996.
kayakdiver
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 09:42:29 (permalink)
Does anyone know who will ship whole-belly clams? All I can find with a google search are clam strips. I am sure frozen clams are nowhere near as good as fresh but since I relocated out of new england to the midwest they would still be better than clam strips.
Ashphalt
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 09:49:10 (permalink)
Here's where I buy lobster & steamers in Boston. http://jameshooklobster.com/home.php

Looks pricey, but if you need a fix I know they've been shipping for years and should be reliable. 30-odd years ago my Dad used to ship their wares to special clients around the country.
renfrew
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 10:04:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by lobster

Trask,

Back in New England shucked soft shells clams are deep fried in a coating of corn and wheat flour producing what I consider to be the best tasting fried clam. Part of this has to do with the fact the belly is not removed after shucking, and left to add a flavor burst of the ocean. The other has to do with the corn and wheat coating and deep frying itself. In Oregon the most clams have the belly removed because of the grit and is fried in a variety of crumbs, breading or batter, but none (that I have seen) resembling the corn and wheat flour coating. I love the razor and other native clams. They have allot of clam flavor, but it is different from the soft shell.



A lot of places do not use wheat flour in their coatings. Woodman' and Farnham's are two of the more famous fried clam places in Essex/Ipswich that use only pure corn flour. Many restaurants do the same in New England.
tmiles
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 13:38:45 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by kayakdiver

Does anyone know who will ship whole-belly clams? All I can find with a google search are clam strips. I am sure frozen clams are nowhere near as good as fresh but since I relocated out of new england to the midwest they would still be better than clam strips.

The Ipswich Shellfish Company is the "gold standard" as a supplier to the best clam shacks in New England. I note from their web site that they do ship direct to consumers, and that they have a $99 fried clam kit. www.ipswichshellfish.com
katieoaks
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 18:27:14 (permalink)
Asphalt, I see from your profile you are from Sharon MA, not like a transplanted to Midwesterner! Any good fish market will probably have fresh soft-shelled clams used for frying clams.If ANY have opened shells, they are dead and discard! Some believe to soak them in cold water overnite with corn meal, to flush but, I think with the processing the distributers do now, it's not necessary. Now you have to shuck the clams and buying a schucking knife is a good investment.Hold the clam with the hinged side in your palm, with the other hand, stick the knife, between the shells at the top of the hinge. Rotate the clame with the knife angled towards the top shell, until you freach the ohter side of the hindge. Forcing the knife on the upper shell, open the clam shells; they don't need to separate.Now take your knife to gently scope out the entire clam( I shuck over a large bowl to catch the juice(strain it well!) for Chowda base)Now that you have a raw clam, you see three parts; The blackneck covered in rough- grey stocking, the ring which the stocking continues down and the belly. Cut of the neck and it sheath, at the very base of the ring, taking care to reove the stocking from the ring too! And you do this over and over and over!Now that you have shucked all your clams, rinse them, well! and pick out any shells remains or stockings or other stuff, Let them drain but not dry out.There are all kinds of batters recipes, but we like the simple Corn-FLOUR and CAKE flour coating after an evaporated milk bath.Keep your oil hot and clean!These are the tricks I've learned. Now you can see why the prices are were they are for fried clams! Digging, shucking and cooking are all timely processes! Maybe a trip to Cape Ann is now in your agenda? If you do try it at home, I'd be happy to hear your results!KO
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/11 19:05:01 (permalink)
katieoaks said: "If ANY have opened shells, they are dead and discard!"

Not exactly. If a clam's shell is open,tap on the shell. If it doesn't close, discard it. If it closes it's just been watching television.
katieoaks
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/13 09:53:22 (permalink)
LOL Michael...they must have a wireless connection!
jellybear
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RE: Fried Clams 2006/05/13 17:40:58 (permalink)
Those Clams are long dead by the time they hit Ohio.
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