New england shack-style fried razor clams

Fried clams, fries, and onion rings

Image via Wikipedia

I do this up for a crowd. Typically I do this for family events. Nothing like a new england clam bake with some clam shack new england fried razor clams. Absolutely delicious.

I make my own mix for frying.

10 cup corn flour
10 cup all-purpose flour
10 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Simple just mix it around by hand get it all evenly distributed.

15 pounds of shucked, razor clams, cut into 4ths.
60 cups vegtable oil or canola oil (3 1/3rd gallons see note)
10 cup buttermilk
frying mix (above)

You will be frying in batches to avoid the problems that can happen if you overcrowd your fryer. To avoid this, line a baking sheet with paper towels and preheat the oven to 250ºF.

Heat oil to the desired temperature in a 32-quart fryer or equivalent pot over medium heat or in a deep fryer.

While the oil is heating, pour the buttermilk into a large bowl, and put the fry mix in another. Drop the clams into the buttermilk and stir gently. Using a Chinese wire-mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully lift up a small batch (in this case, about half of the clams you’re frying), allowing the excess buttermilk to drip back into bowl, then drop the clams into the fry mix and gently toss it to coat evenly with the mix. Quickly dry off the skimmer.

When the oil is hot, lift the food out of the fry mix with the skimmer, gently shake off the excess, and drop it carefully into the oil. Try to spread the food out in the pot so there is less chance of the pieces sticking to each other. The first few moments are crucial: let the seafood cook for 15 to 20 seconds without moving the clams (or the fryer basket)—if you do, some of the breading could fall off, making them extremely greasy. Then stir the clams so that it cooks evenly. This also helps to loosen any pieces that might have stuck together. If anything sticks to the bottom of the pot, loosen it with tongs. Stay right there at the fryer, moving the clams occasionally so it cooks evenly.

Transfer the first batch of clams from the hot oil to the paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. You can keep the clams warm in the oven while you fry the second batch, but with clams or oysters, you should consider serving them as soon as they have drained. Because they are whole creatures with wet innards, they tend to lose their crunch alot faster than shrimp, scallops, and other seafood. You want a crunchy fried clam not a soggy one. As I get batches done, I throw them on a plate or platter and send it to the table with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs and fries are never out of the question.  If you really want traditional rhode island/new england, Serve them in brown paper bags.

Notes, if you want to do clam cakes, mince the razor clams add into buttermilk then mix into the fry mix to make a batter (may need to raise the fry mix by 1/3rd) to make a crunch batter. Make sure the temprature remains at 360 degrees. Oil too hot or too cold results in burned or uncooked centers.

My favorite clam cake mix is below:

RI clamcake mix

20 cups bisquick mix
5 tsp. paprika
10 tsp. parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. onion powder
5 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. white pepper
10 tbsp. white sugar
5 c. milk
5 c. clam juice
15 lb minced razor clams

Mix it all together and drop by the spoon full into the fryer.

I RECOMMEND HANGING ONTO THE GREASE. The reason I hang onto the left over grease from the fryer is it’s flavored now. I use this grease for gravies, or drizzling into clam soups, or even spraying onto bread to help the top get nice and golden brown. It’s not strongly flavored but it does have a bit of flavor from the spices. It’s very good. Just let the oil cool and all the junk sink to the bottom and slowly pour it off, being careful to not pour off the sediment into your oil. You can even use this for crab cakes. The uses are endless! Use in place of any oil or butter!

Just server with my tartar sauce (recipe from the slipper limpet cakes link in related articles)

My tartar sauce that is always on the table.

10 cup mayo
20 tablespoons onion
20 tablespoons relish (equal amounts of sweet pickle relish and hot pepper relish)
10 tablespoon oregano
10 tablespoon dijon mustard
10 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

place all ingredients into a bowl, and mix well. Put in fridge.

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