Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quahogs for the winter

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday.  Hop on over and check out who else is living simply.

If you're from New England, you know what quahogs are, if not.  For those of you from somewhere else, you probably call them clams.  We call the little ones clams, but the big ones are quahogs.   (pronounced Ko-hogs) 

I got these from my sister in law.  This picture is of only a few of the many giant quahogs that she gave me.  She and her family have a blast out clamming.  They gave me what must have been about 30 pounds.  Unfortunately, that doesn't end up as much when all is said and done.  Since I don't have the time or the inclination to do anything with them these days, I cooked and froze them.  Quahogs are usually either stuffed with a spicy sausage stuffing, or made into clam chowder.  I decided on the latter.

It was really quite easy.  I just brought a pan of water to boil.  Then put a large roasting pan in a 400 degree oven and poured the water in.  The quahogs were put in, in batches until they opened and were removed.  I then just chopped the meat.  The clam broth is essential in a good chowder, so that was saved as well.  Finally, the clam shells were thrown out back to eventually be crushed and added to the garden to add calcium to the soil.  Nothing gets wasted here.

The final product.  It doesn't look like much from so many clams, but will make a nice big pot of chowder on a cool fall or winter day.  I'm quite excited about it and am hoping that I may get a few more before summer is over. 


Shirley Jump said...

Oh, I miss being able to get fresh New England seafood! We have a place here that once in a while ships in clams, but not nearly enough to keep me happy ;-) Looks so delicious!

Lorie said...

Clam chowder sounds wonderful. That will be a special dinner treat come winter. How nice your family gathered so many clams. Sounds like such fun.

farmwifetwo said...

Dh loves clam chowder... it's just one of those things I can't get into. NOW, clam - cut into small pieces - mixed in with that sausage stuffing... sounds yummy. I just don't like fish soup of any kind... the first few mouthfuls are good and that's enough.

We have just enough tomatoes that I can get about 6L made today easily... I'm not spending all day at it... little here, a little there. So, that's this morning's job. The rain they said we were to get, then not get, we're now to get in gully washer's over the supper hour...

Maybe cutting all that hay worked as a rain dance... we don't need the extra, but we do need the rain... and truly... that was the point in cutting it.

The Mom said...

Shirley, you should have picked some up when you were out last week. Of course you would have needed a lot of ice to get it back home.

Lorie, we love clam chowder. I can't wait to make it.

Farmwife, the stuffed quahogs are wonderful. We have a client that makes the best 'stuffies' in the world. I hope your tomatoes continue to come in and they don't all wash away.

kitsapFG said...

I love living very near to Puget Sound and only a short drive from the Pacific Ocean. It affords us access to great fresh seafood - including some tasty clams and crabs. We have not clammed for two years now, but it is alot of fun and the fresh food is always appreciated. I love your large batch method of processing the clams. I have used the roasting pan for roasting tomatoes which makes a much less work method of doing tomato sauce and paste. Those roaster pans are certainly useful!

Annie's Granny said...

LOL, I went clam digging once, about 40 years ago. We got so many clams, I ended up with a quart of meat from them, with no way to keep it for any length of time....we were traveling with a camp trailer, no freezer in it. I made a big pot of clam chowder, using the entire quart of clams and broth. It was the clammiest clam chowder ever. Just grossly clammy. To this day, I can't eat clam chowder!

The Mom said...

Laura, it was so much easier to do them in the oven. Try it next time.

Granny, I'm sorry you don't like clam chowder anymore! It's one of my favorite things. Maybe you just need to try a nice mild one.

Daphne said...

I love clam chowder so much. Yum. I've never been clamming though. I suppose after living in the Boston area for so long I would have done it sometime, but nope.

The Mom said...

Daphne, I've never been either. These are a gift. Maybe someday I'll make it.

Sustainable Eats said...

Wow those look great - just think of a nice big bowl of quahog chowder with some bacon and fresh potatoes and leeks this fall! What a score. Thanks for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday - I look forward to your soup post. ;)

Karen Anne said...

Two words: quahog fritters.

The Mom said...

Annette, I'll be sure to post when I make it.

Karen Anne, I need the recipe for that!

Karen Anne said...

I have my Mom's recipe box, but I haven't made this recipe myself. It's possible she has another one lurking somewhere, or modified it but never wrote the modifications down, so no guarantees :-)

Anyway, she wrote, Quahog fritters, see Boston Cooking School Cookbook, p. 273.

Here that is:

Clam Fritters

1 pint clams (I assume this means just innards? Or would it mean the actual quahogs? The very dominant thing in the fritters is the batter not quahogs. Looking at the proportions, Mom may have adjusted this down.)
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cup flour
2 teas. baking powder
salt and pepper

Clean clams, drain from their liquor, and chop (I think Mom used a hand meat grinder instead.). Beat eggs until light, add milk and flour mixed and sifted with baking powder, then add chopped clams, and season highly with salt and pepper. Heat deep kettle of fat (actually, Mom used something smaller, I have a mental image of a deep frying pan) to 375 degrees F or 380 degrees F or until hot enough to brown an inch cube of bread in 1 minute. Dip a spoon into the fat, then take up a spoonful (think soup spoon, the fritters come out a size between a ping pong ball and a tennis ball) of the fitter mixture, and carefully drop it into the fat, without splattering. Fritters should be cooked through and delicately brown on the outside in 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with skimmer and drain on crumpled soft paper (paper towels.) Serves 6.