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      RECIPE TITLE "Clam Cakes with Tarragon, Green Peppers, and Tartar Sauce" Author: Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

    ... more great recipes by Chef Cory Schreiber on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yieldsserves 6 time---difficulty moderate

    In Willapa Bay, clams are harvested into wire nets that are then suspended in the bay to help rinse out the sand. I like to keep clams in their native saltwater until I am ready to cook them, then use some of the water to steam the clams open, often adding a few aromatics such as carrots, onions, garlic, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

    There are many ways to prepare the littleneck clam. Clam cakes are a classic in many regions of the country. Here is my rendition, which includes tartar sauce for dipping.



    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
    • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 teaspoon capers, drained and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon chopped cornichon or dill pickle
    • 1 anchovy fillet, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste


    • 2 pounds littleneck clams in their shells, scrubbed, or one 12-ounce jar chopped clams with juice
    • ½ cup water, if using fresh clams
    • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely grated
    • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup semolina flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2 large eggs, separated
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • About ¼ cup vegetable oil


    To make the tartar sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.

    To make the clam cakes: If using clams in their shells, combine the clams and water in a large skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, then cover. Steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the shells open. Discard any clams that do not open. Remove from heat and let the clams cool in their shells. Take the meat out of the shells. Strain the clam juice, reserving ¾ cup. Coarsely chop the clam meat. This will produce approximately 1¼ cups of chopped meat. If using jarred clams, drain well, reserving ¾ cup of the juice.

    In a medium bowl, combine the chopped clams, onion, bell pepper, parsley, and tarragon; set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, reserved or bottled clam juice, egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice. Stir the liquid ingredients and clam mixture into the dry ingredients to form a batter; set aside.

    In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold them into the batter. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Spoon in about 3 tablespoons of the batter for each clam cake (about 4 per batch). Cook, turning once, until lightly browned on each side, about 3 minutes total. Place the cakes on a plate in a low oven to keep warm. Repeat the process, adding more oil as needed, until all the batter is used. Serve hot with the tartar sauce.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Chef Cory Schreiber opened the Wildwood restaurant in Portland five years ago and has rapidly become a leading figure in the region's bustling culinary scene. Schreiber won the James Beard Award in 1998 for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest-a fitting tribute to a man who cherishes the land, its peoples and its produce in much the same way as Beard, a native Oregonian himself, did. Schreiber emphasizes organic produce prepared in ways that allow the natural beauty and flavors of the ingredients to shine forth, unobstructed by fussy embellishments. It is complex cuisine to be sure, but one grounded in a hearty, rustic sensibility. With its lavish food and landscape photography, inspired recipes and passionate personal narrative, this book presents the dishes that have earned Mr. Schreiber national acclaim and offers a window into the source of his creativity.


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