Like most families, we have certain go-to recipes we like to cook when friends come visiting. During shedder season, traditional steamed lobster is always on the menu, with (you dig) or without clams. Our farm also produces a fair amount of rabbit, which we love to share. Either smoked, or a silky, smooth rabbit pate spread on warm baguette slices with our bread and butter pickles.
For parties and festive gatherings, Clam Fritters with our fruit ketchups: apple, blueberry or cranberry, are our absolute favorite.
Everyone I know loves fritters, which don’t necessarily need to contain clams. These savory little donut-type bites are really quite simple to prepare, and take extremely well to a variety of dipping sauces and condiments, depending upon the theme the party and your culinary mood. Plus you can transport the whole show to a potluck or family reunion.
We make our fritters in an electric skillet with organic canola oil. I’ve found this to be the easiest way to control the temperature of the fat, critical for cooking perfect fritters. (In fat that is too hot, the fritters burn before cooking, and if the fat is too cool, the fritters absorb the grease.)
The batter may be made hours in advance and stored in a jar in the refrigerator. While you heat the fat, take the jar out of the refrigerator to warm the batter.
Fritters taste best hot, right out of the fat. They are still pretty tasty at room temperature, and make a fine meal when reheated in a 350-degree oven. This is finger food! Serve up with your favorite ketchups, salsa and sauces, along with plenty of napkins.
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons melted butter or oil
- 1 cup liquids for clam fritters, usually ¾ cup clam juice and ¼ cup milk or cream
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Salt to taste start with ½ teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning more or less to taste
- 1 cup chopped or ground clams
- Gather your ingredients and tools.
- In your measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil or butter and liquids.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk in the liquids and fold in the clams. The batter should be thick…like a thick muffin or cake batter.
- Preheat at least 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees. Drop tablespoons of the batter in the oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turning with tongs.
- Drain on paper towels and taste the first fritter for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper to the batter if necessary.
- Continue to fry a few fritters at a time until done.
- Makes about 36 fritters.