Wash clean as many round clams as required; pile them in a large iron pot, with half a cupful of hot water in the bottom, and put over the fire; as soon as the shells open take out the clams, cut off the hard, uneatable “fringe” from each with strong, clean scissors, put them into a stewpan with the broth from the pot, and boil slowly till they are quite tender; pepper well and thicken the gravy with flour stirred into melted butter.
Or, you may get two dozen freshly opened very small clams. Boil a pint of milk, a dash of white pepper and a small pat of butter. Now add the clams. Let them come to a boil and serve. Longer boiling will make the clams almost indigestible.
ROAST CLAMS IN THE SHELL.
Roast in a pan over a hot fire, or in a hot oven, or, at a “Clam Bake,” on hot stones; when they open, empty the juice into a saucepan; add the clams, with butter, pepper and a very little salt.
Take fifty small or twenty-five large sand clams from their shells; if large, cut each in two, lay them on a thickly-folded napkin; put a pint bowl of wheat flour into a basin, add to it three well-beaten eggs, half a pint of sweet milk and nearly as much of their own liquor; beat the batter until it is smooth and perfectly free from lumps, then stir in the clams. Put plenty of lard or beef fat into a thick-bottomed frying pan, let it become boiling hot; put in the batter by the spoonful; let them fry gently; when one side is a delicate brown turn the other.
The materials needed are fifty round clams (quahogs), a large bowl of salt pork cut up fine, the same of onions finely chopped, and the same (or more, if you desire) of potatoes cut into eighths or sixteenths of original size; wash the clams very thoroughly and put them in a pot with half a pint of water; when the shells are open they are done; then take them from the shells and chop fine, saving all the clam water for the chowder; fry out the pork very gently, and when the scraps are a good brown take them out and put in the chopped onions to fry; they should be fried in a frying pan, and the chowder kettle be made very clean before they are put in it, or the chowder will burn. (The chief secret in chowder-making is to fry the onions so delicately that they will be missing in the chowder.)
Add a quart of hot water to the onions; put in the clams, clam-water and pork scraps. After it boils, add the potatoes, and when they are cooked, the chowder is finished. Just before it is taken up, thicken it with a cup of powdered crackers, and add a quart of fresh milk. If too rich, add more water. No seasoning is needed but good black pepper.
With the addition of six sliced tomatoes, or half a can of the canned ones, this is the best recipe of this kind, and is served in many of our best restaurants.
Purchase a dozen large soft clams in the shell and three dozen opened clams. Ask the dealer to open the first dozen, care being used not to injure the shells, which are to be used in cooking the clams. Clean the shells well, and put two soft clams on each half shell; add to each a dash of white pepper, and half a teaspoonful of minced celery. Cut a slice of fat bacon into the smallest dice, add four of these to each shell, strew over the top a thin layer of cracker dust; place a piece of table butter on top, and bake in the oven until brown. They are delightful when properly prepared.