Towards the end of March, I am always thinking about the beach… not to tan, but to go clamming! Every year I head down to Ocean Shores (about a 4 hour drive from Seattle) to host their annual Razor Clam Festival! This year will be my fourth time hosting this clam-tastic celebration and each year, my team and I have had an amazing great time.
The weekend starts with an all-you-can-eat Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast served by the Ocean Shores Firefighters — all for $5! (And yes, they are cute!)
Throughout the entire day, there’ll be lots to keep you and the family entertained. From live music and lots of clam chowder to taste as well as an auction of decorated clam shovels and tubes (sometimes called clam “guns”) as well as beer & Bloody Mary bars. Of course, there’s also the Clam Chowder Cook-Off Competition which my team and I will be judging.
My crew and I doing the “Official” Razor Clam Festival Dance…eating all that chowder makes us silly!
If you like to dig your razor clams, check out the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website for more info on this year’s dig…and don’t forget your clam license and essentials!
Once you’ve reached your razor clam limits, it’s time to clean your clams. If you need a demo don’t fret as my friend Scott Surdyke and I share some of our cleaning tips in this video. Then it’s time to start cooking and one of my favorite ways of cooking this bi-valve is in a recipe that Scott and I created together. I’ve shared our recipe for our Clam-tastic Razor Clam Fritters dipped in my Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce below.
Think clear skies, pack warm and head on over to Ocean Shores for a clam’tastic time! –Kathy
Scott & Kathy’s CLAM-TASTIC Razor Clam Fritters
Makes 24 – 26 fritters
3 cups chopped/diced razor clams
3 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix with buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp minced lemon zest
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup clam nectar (or reserved clam juice)
1/4 cup Northwest amber beer, flat
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
6 scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped orange or red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
Crisco shortening for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish/squeezing
Kathy Casey’s Ultimate Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)
Drain the clams and save any juice for use in recipe.
In a large bowl combine the Krusteaz, corn meal, baking powder, lemon pepper, zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, clam nectar/juice, beer and eggs to combine.
Then fold in the celery, corn, green onions, bell pepper and drained clams.
Heat 2-inches of Crisco in a large cast iron skilled till hot – about 375 degrees. Scoop out fritters a few at time – I use a 1/4 cup measure – they should be kind of spread out and not too thick. Fry on first side till golden and then flip over. Continue frying till golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Cook fritters in batches being sure oil stays hot. Keep fritters warm in a 300 degree oven on a rack if needed – but they are best served right away – the fritter cook will just have to keep cooking! Serve with Rock the World Tartar Sauce and fresh lemons.
Recipe by Scott Surdyke and Kathy Casey
Kathy’s Rock-The-World Tartar Sauce
Makes 2 cups
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish
2 Tbsps drained capers, chopped
1 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsps chopped parsley
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients.
Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books