Taking place in Ocean Shores (Washington), this fun event is going to be bigger than ever this year. They’ve even added an extra day, and a new seafood cooking competition!
The festival runs from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, March 23 and 9am to 4pm on Sunday, March 24 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center. It is an event for the whole family; with live music, craft vendors, cooking competitions and demonstrations, gift giveaways, and so much more. Kids 12 and under get in free. Adults are $3.00 for each day or $5.00 for both days. There will be lots of great food and chowder samples of course! Don’t forget to stop at the various Bloody Mary and beer booths to wash down all that great chow.
The KCFS Crew doing the “Official” Razor Clam Dance!
But the true headliner event is the Clam Chowder Cook-Offs for both the pro and amateur chefs. Each year the festival has an array of contestants enter the Amateur Chowder Cook Off and compete for the best of the best on the Northwest Coast. (My chef team will be judging again this year!) The First Place Winner gets bragging rights for a whole year and will be one of the judges for the Professional Clam Chowder Cook Off at the Festival in 2014. How cool is that!
If you like to forage for your own clams, make sure to check out the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife 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, check out this video that my friend Scott Surdyke and I made on how to clean them properly. And for a super tasty way of cooking this bi-valve, try our recipe for our Clam-tastic Razor Clam Fritters with my Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce below.
So pack up your clammin’ gear (including you razor clam license) and head down to Ocean Shores – it’s the clamtastic place to be! –Kathy
Scott & Kathy’s CLAMTASTIC 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