Growing up in Southern New England has it charms I remember being a kid and waiting for fall, why? Fall meant the Big E, billed as the great New England State Fair as all six of the New England states participated in it. Now having been in northern Connecticut gave me great access to this and one of the features of this is each state had a state building with things representative of that state. Well Rhode Island is known for clams and one thing that was always available in each state building were samples of traditional cuisine I mean Maine had backed potatoes of course, Vermont maple pretty much everything and Rhode Island clam cakes or fritters oh they were so good.
These buildings were among the busiest at the fair and for good reason what is one of the biggest joys of any fair – the food ah dah! Now I would always get my parents to get me my own bag of these piping hot freshly made clam fritters. They are such a good balance of dough and yummy clams. So when I started this seafood site it was inevitable I had to cover and get around to doing my own version of this long love affair with Rhode Island and clam fritters.
One of the beauties of this part of the country is it is so accessible and there are so many things within a few hours’ drive I mean the ocean just a stones throw away. The Americas Cup still belongs home in Newport in my opinion, the ski areas of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine a coast bountiful in ocean fresh seafood. Home grown dairy farms at almost every turn and the wonderful treats they produce. And an autumn that is set afire with a breathtaking display of color second to no other place on earth so I truly am blessed by location. And as part of that deep history is my love for food and a region blessed with nature’s bounty.
- 1½ pounds clams pieces with juice
- 2¼ cups bread flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1⅛ cups lugar beer (favorite brand)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large glass bowl blend all the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until well beaten, the beer and ½ a cup of the clam juice.
- Melt butter in a microwave safe dish.
- Next combine all the ingredient into a batter when well blended fold the clams into the batter careful not to over work it.
- Refrigerate this for 1 - 2 hours.
- Heat your deep fat fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Spoon out tablespoon size portions into the hot oil being careful not to over crowd them work in small batches until you have the desired amount allow to fry for two to three minutes or until a deep golden brown.
These go well with a bowl of thick New England clam chowder or seafood chowder (not that stuff with tomatoes)
From the time I was a kid I knew the best clams came from Rhode Island and a few other things too. You cannot grow up in New England and not liking seafood it just isn’t so please tell me. I mean we have so many good things it is more a matter of trying to make a choice of what than whether to make a choice at all. From the time we are young we are raised on thick wonderful white chowders to help fight of cold and harsh winters. There is something to be said for a good bowl of chowder on a cold winter’s day.
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