Fried Clams (moved from Site Talk)
I have been experimenting with fried clams, the way we got them at the many roadside stands on Cape Cod where I was raised. I'm unable to get the fresh Ipswich big belly clams, but our local Long Island top necks and little necks are good enough. I saw many recipes for soaking them--but nothing seemed to get that particular flavor or texture. The list included flour, flour and corn meal, and even semolina. Southern style recipes told me to soak 'em in buttermilk, plain milk, even evaporated milk. Almost, but not quite.
I used peanut oil, kept the heat high and steady, added the clams slowly enough so as to not lower the oil temperature, but when they attained that perfect color, they were also overcooked, tough. I need help, if anyone can offer any.