Emeril's Clam Cakes with Tartar Sauce

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
1 hr 30 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
about 3 1/2 dozen
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped fresh clams (about 30 cherrystone clams) *see note
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Tartar Sauce, recipe follows
  • Chopped parsley leaves, garnish
  • Lemon wedges
Directions
  • Drain the clams while making the batter.

  • Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, Essence, and cayenne. Add the egg, milk, and clam juice, and mix to make a thick batter. Fold in the clams, shallots, green onions, parsley, and garlic.

  • In a large cast iron skillet, or deep saute pan, heat enough oil to come 2 to 3 inches up the sides of the pan to 350 degrees F.

  • Drop the batter by the tablespoonful into the hot oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence.

  • Arrange the fritters on a large platter, with the tartar sauce in a bowl in the center. Garnish with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

NOTE:
  • If using fresh clams, rinse well under cold running water. Place in a bucket or large bowl or pot. Fill with enough water to cover by 2 inches and add enough water to equal the salinity of seawater. Let sit for 10 minutes. Repeat the process until no sand remains in the bottom of the bucket.

  • To facilitate shucking the clams, return them to the bucket and fill with very warm (not hot) water. Let the clams sit until they begin to open their shells slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Shuck the clams, discarding the shells, and refrigerating the meat until ready to use.

Tartar Sauce:
  • In a bowl, fold together the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, giving the sauce 1 hour to stand before serving for the flavors to blend. (Note: If using homemade mayonnaise, the tartar sauce must be refrigerated and used within 24 hours.)

  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups


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