Only in Essex steamer clam cakes with traditional New England tartar sauce

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time40 mins
  • Serves18
  • DifficultyMedium

For the clam cakes

45ml olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion
1 (330ml) tin beer
3kg steamer clams
500ml rapeseed oil or more, for deep frying
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
120ml evaporated milk
375ml clam broth
Lemon wedges, if desired

For the tartar sauce

40g onion, finely diced
40g gherkin, diced
170ml mayonnaise
1 tbsp pickle juice
For the clams:
1) Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Chop the onion into large chunks and saute in the oil until lightly cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and the clams. Cover and cook until all of the clams are opened, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how many you have in the pan.

2) Remove the pan from the heat, uncover and allow to cool to the touch before shucking. Push the clams to the side so that there is broth visible to rinse the clams in after shucking. Remove the clams from the shell one at a time and pull off membrane that covers the neck and discard.

3) Rinse the shucked clam in the broth and set aside. When all clams are shucked and rinsed, drain the broth out of them by giving them a slight squeeze over the pan of broth. Chop roughly and set aside.

4) In a deep-fryer, or on the hob in a deep pan, preheat the oil to 190C. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the eggs, evaporated milk and clam broth until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the clams and mix well.

5) Dip a spoon into the heated oil, then take a 2 tbsp-sized scoop of the fritter mixture and carefully drop into the oil. Turn the cake over when the first side is browned. The fritters should be cooked through and browned in 4 to 5 minutes.

6) Remove the fritters with a skimmer and drain on kitchen towel. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve with the tartar sauce and, if desired, on small plates with wedges of lemon.

For the tartar sauce:
1) Mix all ingredients in a small bowl to serve with clam cakes. Refrigerate until serving.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore we cannot make representation as to the results.

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