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Clam Fritters

Clam Fritters

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Makes about 2 dozen.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from one of my own recipes.

Clam fritters are popular on the East Coast of the USA. In New England, especially in Rhode Island, they are known as clam cakes and they are almost ubiquitous at snack bars, concession stands, and fast-food diners. They are very easy to make. Combine the ingredients, heat oil, and fry.

Ingredients:

2 10-ounce (283g) cans chopped clams
  Each can will contain about 5 oz. (142g) clams (by weight) and 5 fluid oz. (148ml) broth
3 large eggs, beaten
11 ounces (312g) flour (about 2¼ cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Generous grating of fresh black pepper (about ¼ teaspoon)
About 6 cups oil for frying

Directions:

Drain the clams, retaining the juice and clams in separate bowls. Combine the clam juice, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Blend well. The mixture should resemble a thick batter. If too wet, add more flour at little at a time to get the consistency correct. If too dry, water can be added.

Stir in the chopped clams and mix until thoroughly distributed.

Heat oil in a heavy pot to 375°F (190°C). To test for seasoning, pick up a small dollop of batter with the tines of a fork and cook in the hot oil for a minute or two. Let cool a little (the metal fork will be very hot) and taste for salt. Adjust the seasonings in the batter if necessary.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, carefully drop dollops of the batter into the hot oil, not crowding the pan. Try to maintain an oil temperature close to 375° by adjusting the heat up or down as necessary.

Fry the fritters, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked inside, 3 to 4 minutes. Cooking time could vary, depending on the size of the fritters.

Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with paper towels. Allow to drain. Continue frying fritters until all the batter is used.

Serve warm.

Clam fritters are often eaten alone, but some people prefer them with tartar sauce on the side or sprinkled with a little vinegar.