New England-Style Fried Clams

Summer time holds a special place in the heart of anyone whom was raised in New England with tastes and aromas of the restaurants, yacht clubs, and marinas clustered along the shoreline.  Each time I travel home during the summer I usually find myself out racing sailboats or casually boating with my family on the Long Island Sound.  But make no mistake about it, I always find the time to visit some of these seasonal eateries after we have made a safe return to the dock from our afternoon adventures.


Typically my brothers and I will find ourselves enjoying these clams at Costello’s Clam Shack or the Sea Swirl of Mystic.  Costello’s Clam Shack is conveniently located near the marina where our family keeps our boats during the summer and we can access the restaurant via the Mystic River on the way out or returning from Long Island Sound.  We can stop by the Sea Swirl of Mystic on our way back from Stonington Borough after finishing up Spring or Fall Off Soundings – a town of which is also home to many fine restaurants.  Another post will be forthcoming on that topic.


Lately, several summertime New England recipes have been catching my eye, and today I wanted to share with you a recipe for a quintessential Southeastern Connecticut summer treat, which happens to be one of my favorite dishes when visiting Connecticut – New England Style Fried Clams:



Canola oil, for frying

1 cup corn flour

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 cup whole milk

½ cup buttermilk

1 large egg

2 pounds full-belly clams, shucked

Tartar sauce and lemon wedges, for serving

The Method:

1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil until it reaches 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.

2. Over a medium bowl, sift together both flours. Stir in the salt.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk and egg. Dip 1 clam at a time into the milk mixture, then dredge in the corn-flour mixture and drop it into the oil. Fry the clams in batches, turning occasionally, until the clams are golden brown and crisp, 40 seconds to 1 minute. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt while still warm. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Recipe courtesy of Tasting Table



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