Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Clam Fritters pan seared in cast iron skillet

“Hey Cherry, you up?”

“Yeah Chowder, been straining all morning. Siphoned up some good grub on the tide change.”
“Your always a foot ahead of me, and you are so pretty Cherry, I really dig ya. Looks like another nice day, very sandy out”.

“Oh no!!!! Chowder..... here comes that rake again, HURRY!!  Dig, Dig, Dig!!!!”

“Oh Cherry my dahlin, looks like they got us this time! They really raked up. I wonder where we will end up”.

“I don’t know, Charlie Tuna told us we could be abducted by those humanoids if we did not bury deep enough, we should of listened!”
“Seems like we have stopped moving around, Say Chowder why don’t you take a peak outside and see where we are.”

“Anything for you Cherry.”
“Well, it's dark, but all I see is Darnell's Aunt on a pancake box. Aunt Jasmine?. I don't know........ but I think we are safe.”

“Wait!!!! Oh NOOOOOO ! I see that big black round cast iron humanoid heating device Charlie Tuna warned us about!! I think we are gonna be FRIED Cherry!”

“WELL, Chowder, I think it’s about time we both came out of our shell!!”

Authentic Eastern Shore Clam Fritter Recipe. FINALLY FOUND!!

Driving north on Rt 13 just of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is the entrance to clam nirvana. The Eastern Shore arguably grows the finest clams in the world and from my experience has proved to be true. Just last night we steamed up 100 with a little drawn butter mixed with white wine and garlic and it was one of the best dinners we ever had.

Since I was maybe 16 years old I have searched for the ultimate clam fritter recipe. I have searched the internet and found a lot of recipes all varying in ingredients and methods of cooking. My personal attempts at making an authentic clam fritter has failed miserably many times. While still tasty, nothing like the original you would find at seafood festivals or a good Eastern Shore seafood joint.

Traveling north I past Cape Charles and to the right I saw Randy and Sandy’s Seafood. There was a flashing “Open “ sign and a miniature lighthouse in the parking lot so I figured I 'd have to pop in.

I struck up a conversation with the owner and his son. Of course I picked up a bag of steamers and just could not get over this delicious smell that was emanating throughout the store. I asked him what was he cooking,

“Authentic clam fritters.” Well the first thing out f my mouth were words that were an attempt to get the recipe. I had just eaten lunch so I did not order one right then. We had a very nice chat then I asked to borrow a screwdriver, and went outside to put on my new license plates for my car I had just registered.

While I was putting on the plates in the parking lot, here comes the owner with a fritter for me to sample. What a nice fellow! Well although I was not hungry, I took a bite and WOW!!!!!! This is the fritter I had always dreamed of. So, I went back inside and thanked him again.

I just figured I had no chance in getting this recipe. We talked about different fritter recipes and how I grew up going to the Urbanna Oyster festival and always loved their fritters as well. The subject of our outdoor show came up and that I really would love to have his recipe. So with a promise that I would post his business address and contact info on line, he gave me his recipe.

The thing is, I did not believe the recipe, it was just too simple!!! Here are the ingredients

Pancake Batter
Salt and pepper.

That’s it. Sounds simple but believe me you can screw this recipe up big time if you don’t follow EAXCTLY how to do it. Here we go.

First, use chowder clams only!!! If you don’t have Chowder clams, make another dish. The reason is the Chowder clam is large enough to have a nice surface area when chopped to hold together the pancake mix and the extra juice is also needed.

Thinly sliced raw onion. Not sautéed. Chop your onion and clams and place them in a bowl. Add the pancake mix until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. (salt and pepper to taste) use NO WATER!

Oil a cast iron skillet and cook the fritters much like you would a pancake.

These are the best I have ever had, ever. If you want a little heat to the mix just add a dash of cayenne pepper. This would make it sort of Cajun style.

My dahlin Donna’s favorite meal is clam fritters with mac and cheese and stewed tomatoes on the side.

I am off now to find some chowder clams and break out the cast iron skillet for tonight’s Saturday Night throw down!

Chowder and Cherry are awaiting stove side!

Jim Baugh

Randy and Sandy’s Seafood
22115 Lankford Hgwy, Rt 13
Cape Charles Virginia
757 331 1688

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