Clams Defined and Recipes

Clams—A favorite American shellfish, the "Little Neck" clam being the favored kind for eating from the shell, the large hard clams for soups and chowders, and the soft clam for broiling and frying.

CLAM CHOWDER—Salt pork cut into dice and fried till light brown. Fish broth and clam liquor in equal parts brought to the boil, skimmed, sliced onions and potatoes then put in and boiled till barely done, then is added the fried salt pork and scalded clams cut in dice; seasoned with pepper, ground mace and salt; brought to the boil again, and poured to an equal quantity of thin white sauce; finished with a few rolled crackers and chopped parsley.

PHILADELPHIA CLAM CHOWDER—Like the preceding but substituting tomatoes and tomato sauce for the white sauce and adding a flavor of thyme.


  • 1/2 peek of clams in shell
  • 1 quart hot milk
  • 3 potatoes
  • 6 rolled crackers
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 saltspoon pepper

Wash the clams and place them over the fire in a large covered kettle, with sufficient water to keep the under ones from burning. When the shells at the top have opened, remove all the clams, and when cool enough to handle take them from the shells. Remove the skins and cut into small pieces, leaving the soft part whole.

Let the liquor settle; then pour all the top, being careful not to take any of the sediment.

Cut the potatoes into small dice and parboil them, pouring off the water afterward. Cut the bacon in very thin slices and fry.

Remove the bacon and fry the onion in the bacon fat and strain.

Then boil bacon, onions and potatoes together until the potatoes are tender Use just enough boiling water to cover them, and drain when done.

Reheat the clams and their liquor; add the hot milk, seasoning, rolled crackers, bacon, onion and potatoes; let all simmer together for five minutes; add the parsley and serve.

CLAM BROTH—May be made to order at restaurants by simply chopping some large clams and scalding them in clam liquor, then straining into the serving bowl or cup.

CLAM STEW—Plain or with milk or cream; generally sold in restaurants by the half or dozen (it is customary to give seven and fourteen to the half or dozen); scald the clams with clam liquor, take off the scum, pour into a bowl, add a piece of butter and serve, if for plain; if for a milk or cream stew, scald the milk or cream separately, pour the clams and liquor into the bowl first, then add an equal quantity of the milk, season with butter and serve with crackers.

ROAST CLAMS—May be either served in the shell or on toastl Large clams washed, arranged on baking sheet, put in hot oven till they open. If served in the shell the top shell is removed, the clam separated from the lower, little melted butter then placed in each and served. If to be served on toast, the toast should be cut in strips, buttered, the clams placed neatly on it, melted butter brushed over them; served with lemon and crackers.

BROILED CLAMS—The soft clam is best for this dish, but the ordinary large clam is serviceable; they should be drained, seasoned with salt and pepper, dipped in melted butter then rolled in fresh sifted bread crumbs, broiled; served on toast, garnished with lemon and watercress.

FRIED CLAMS—Drained, seasoned, dipped in melted butter, rolled in sifted bread crumbs, then in beaten eggs and again in crumbs; fried in clear butter or in hot fat; served garnished with lemon and watercress.

STEAMED CLAMS — Large clams scrubbed, arranged on the wire false bottom of a fish kettle with a little water under them, lid then put on, placed over a quick fire; when the upper shell is loosened, it is removed, the clam separated from the lower, little melted butter put in each, served very hot with lemon and crackers.

CLAM FRITTERS—Soft clams seasoned, then dipped in batter and fried; or large clams chopped, then mixed in batter and fried by spoonfuls in hot fat; served with a cream sauce made with clam liquor.

SCALLOPED CLAMS—Clams scalded and cut into neat pieces, sauce made of their liquor, the clams mixed in, and either filled into large clam or scallop shells, the tops sprinkled with sifted crumbs and melted butter, then browned in the oven; served in the shell.

CLAM CROQUETTES—Scalded clams cut into small neat pieces (not chopped). Thick sauce made of the liquor, the cut clams put back into it; when thoroughly reheated, poured into a buttered shallow pan, smoothed with a knife, covered with a sheet of greased paper and allowed to become cold and set, then cut in even sized pieces, shaped, breaded, fried; served with a clam sauce poured around.

CLAM FORCEMEAT — Scalded clams finely minced with an equal quantity of canned mushrooms, a little minced onion fried in butter, flour added, moistened with the clam and mushroom liquor, boiled up, seasoned with salt, pepper, little dry mustard, a suspicion of garlic, and some chopped parsley; then is added the clams and mushrooms, boiled up slowly for ten minutes, remove and work in a few beaten egg yolks till of a stiff consistency, put away to cool for use.

FRICASSEE OF CLAMS—The clams scalded in their own liquor, then strained, equal amount of milk and liquor boiled separately, flour and butter in a saucepan seasoned with red pepper and a little nutmeg moistened with the liquor, then finished to the desired consistency with the boiling milk; when boiled up, finished with a few beaten yolks of eggs, the clams cut either in halves if small, or in neat pieces if large, added to the sauce; served either on toast, or with a border of fancy mashed potatoes, or in scallop shells.

CLAM SOUP—CREAM OF CLAMS—Same as the preceding recipe, but having the soup of the consistency of thin cream; when serving, a sprinkling of chopped parsley or celery leaves put into each plate.


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