PACIFIC NORTHWEST RAZOR CLAMS

No, we’re not back in Washington, but I’m trying to make room in the freezer by using the goodies I brought from our freezers before we had to sell them. So today, it was Razor Clams – Three Ways.
Here’s a little info on Razor clams if you are not familiar with them. Seeing a picture of them as dug, it’s easy to see how they came to have their name.
clam pix 1I grew up coming to the coast, Copalis Beach, with my family for clam digging, which has to be done at low tide which can be 3 to 4 or 5 a.m. I remember many times as obnoxious children we would begin whining when the tide came in and we would be surrounded with water and sure we were all going to drown.

Razor clams are deceptively fast ‘burrowers’ and you have to get that shovel in and down fast; remove the shovel and stick your arm down the ‘blow’ hole to hopefully grab your clam as he/she nose dives for safety.
razor clams cleaned 3 (2)

We’d come back to the cabin and my mother would work her magic with our bounty – clam cocktails, clam chowder, fried clams and of course clam fritters. These are some of my best childhood memories, even if we might have been swept out to sea by 3 inches of tide coming in.
razor clams cleaned 3 (1)

This is the meat of a razor clam ready to be transformed into dishes to make a person cry, they are so briny, tender (if cooked correctly), and luscious.
Now, to cooking those luscious creatures.

Not an auspicious way to begin, but the first recipe it tried, I chose only because it was so off the wall, that I could not not try it.

“Smoked” Razor Clams
Found this searching on the internet for ideas and thank God I didn’t use a whole batch of clams on this recipe. It was just nasty!! Nothing to even rework to make something of it. Clams and recipe straight to the garbage!!!
Aug 22 Smoked Razor clams 1
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The second dish was Razor Clam Fritters and this choice was delicious. Easy to put together if you have ‘pancake mix’ which I did not. But thanks to Alton Brown and Food Network, he had a recipe for a quick mix so I was good to go.
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Razor Clam Fritters
1 cup chopped razor clams (reserve the liquid)
1 bottle flat beer
1 1/2 cups pancake mix*(see recipe below)
6 green onions cut very thin and use green also
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped

Mix onions, celery, green pepper and pancake mix together. Add clams and juice to other ingredients, then add beer till you have a very thick mixture that can be dropped from spoon into hot oil at 375°F. You may not need all the beer because of the clam juice. Drop by spoonful in oil – cook 2 min. per side – test, if not cooked- drop by smaller spoonfuls.

Alton’s ‘Instant’ Pancake Mix:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda (check expiration date first)
3 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs sugar

The third dish was an old family favorite – Fried Razor Clams. I’ve always loved the amount of heat and spiciness of this coating
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Fried Alaskan Razor Clams*****
Alaskan razor clams are huge in size and full of sweet, briny flavor.  After our recent razor clam digging trip on the Kenai Peninsula we tested a bunch of recipes and tried new ways of cooking our clams.  Here’s a pan fried recipe that adds a little kick that you’re sure to love as much as we do. ~Patti & Audrey

Vegetable or canola oil for frying
1/2 package of saltines (about 20 crackers) finely crushed1 teaspoon coarse ground salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 eggs, plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten
4 large razor clams (about 1 pound) cleaned and dried

Gather your ingredients.  These go quick, so once your oil is hot, the clams need to be breaded and ready to fry. Mix crushed crackers with all seasonings.
Dip clams into beaten egg and then dredge with the cracker mixture to coat evenly.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. When ready, add clams and fry until golden brown.  Be careful not to overcook or else they will get tough. These only take about 1 minute per side.

Let drain on paper towel for a few minutes, and then serve with a wedge of lemon, some spicy cocktail sauce and a nice cold Alaskan Amber beer!

One favorite time I made these was earlier this year when our friend’s, Bill & Jane Miller, daughter visited us for a few days. She is such an adventurous food lover, plus being a professional cheese monger – what’s not to love about her????

All in all what a great day of cooking and eating – frosting on the cake?? I still have some smoked ketchup in the freezer that I added a few jalapenos to jazz up things a little.

I hope if you’re ever in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll try our Razor Clams – they are outstanding.

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