I know you're probably wondering about the results of my razor clam contest. Yes, it's been a long time coming, but I'm finally ready to announce the recipe I selected as the fate for my precious razor clams. There are two reasons why it took so long, the first being that I didn't want to announce the winner until I had actually had made the recipe to show you. That required setting up a big enough block of time for me to prepare the dish, photograph it, process the photos and write the post. You know the drill. It seemed like every time I planned to do this, something came up and got in my way!
The second reason is that I received so many fantastic recipes and ideas that it was really, really, really hard for me to choose just one. In fact, I didn't. Since I had a a total of five pounds of razor clams in my freezer, (my sous chefs and) I decided to choose not one, but THREE winning recipes! Even so, it was still a very difficult choice, making me wish that I had bought a lot more of those clams.
As I stated in my earlier post, my criteria for selecting a winning recipe was originality, availability of ingredients and ease of preparation. I also stated that my clams were already cleaned and shelled. So, while many of you submitted great recipes calling for unshelled clams, I couldn't use them. All three of the recipes we chose met this criteria and yet, were very different. I've made one already, and can't wait to try the other two!
So, without further ado, here are the three winners of one of these:
Are you ready?
Really, really ready?
Okay. Here we go!
"While not the lowest calorie preparation, razor clams benefit from a hot oil bath to a greater degree than any other food this humble cook has had the pleasure to encounter.
Dip clams into rice flour coating evenly. (Regular flour may be used but rice flour is best). Flour may be seasoned with any dry seasonings you like (pepper, garlic, herbs etc.)
Dip floured fish into lightly beaten eggs.
Roll egg coated fish into Panko bread crumbs (the best) and shake off excess so breading isn't too thick)
After rolling in Panko crumbs and before you fry in oil, always put battered items in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. This is a secret for a restaurant quality fish fry! I have frozen breaded razor clams for up to a week before frying. When the Panko gets frozen to the egg wash, it sticks like cement and the crumbs never fall off and the results are beautiful.
Cook in peanut (first choice) or other vegetable oil which has been heated to 375 degrees. Cook for one minute or less. Razors will toughen if overcooked. You want the clams to be done right as the bread crumbs start to turn golden.
Enjoy one of the most succulent seafood entrees on the planet!"
This is the first recipe I used, and the one highlighted in these pictures.
"When I read your dilemma, I immediately called my friend Darren who used to live on a boat in Seattle. He came back with this recipe for razor clam fritters, which he said he used to make all the time and people couldn't stop eating them and RAVING!
In a food processor:
1 medium sweet onion
1 large leek - whites only
2 cloves garlic, slightly minced
1 C fennel bulb, cubed
Pulse till coarsely chopped. Put the mixture in a large bowl and add:
Kernels off 1 ear fresh corn
1/4C corn meal
1/2C AP flour
Toss to coat everything with flour and corn meal.
Finely dice 3 C clams
Add 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 head flat leafed parsley, chopped
2 TBS fennel leaves, minced
1 C whole milk
1 generous C grated parmegiano-reggiano
2C Panko bread crumbs
zest of 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients. You should have a mixture which can be shaped into balls and then flattened.
Heat a heavy skillet. Spray with oil. Add the fritters and fry on both sides - slowly on side 1, then turning up the heat and frying until crispy on both sides.
Serve with tartar sauce - either home made or store bought. Either way, the play of the corn against the lemon zest is a knockout, and anyone who turns their nose up at a tartar sauce out of a jar will probably not count among your best friends anyway!"
"I have had this recipe bookmarked for a bit. It calls for a pound of those suckers!
Congratulations, you three! I loved the recipes you submitted, and intend to recreate each of them! Please email me at stickygooeycreamychewyATgmailDOTcom, with your snail mail addresses so that I can get your prizes out to you.
Thanks also to everyone else who submitted a recipe or preparation idea for my razor clams. I wish I could send you all a prize!