Bonacker-Style Clam Fritters

Christopher Hirsheimer

Craig Claiborne, longtime food editor of the New York Times, lived near Round Swamp Farm in Long Island and was a great fan. He tirelessly sought out authentic American cooking and in 1976 called this recipe "Americana, pure and simple".

Bonacker-Style Clam Fritters
Well-known food editor Craig Claiborne called this recipe "Americana, pure and simple".
Yield: makes About 16 Fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 13 cup clam juice (reserved from clams)
  • 14 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 dozen cherrystone clams, shucked, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice, clam juice, milk, butter, and cayenne, whisking until batter is smooth. Add parsley and clams, then season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add vegetable oil to a heavy skillet, to a depth of 1⁄8", and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, spoon about 2 tbsp. of clam batter for each fritter into the hot oil. (Work in batches and avoid crowding the pan.) Fry until golden on one side, then turn fritters and continue frying about 2 minutes more. Drain on paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper.