Fried clams are delicious. They taste a lot like fried calamari. Most chicken-nugget-and-french-fry-loving toddlers will devour them with no complaints. Mine licked her plate clean. If you are looking for ways to get more iron into your family members, this recipe is your ticket.
It may seem like I'm doing a lot of fried food these days, and I suppose that's true. But I just (a) got a new deep fryer, (b) rendered a whole lot of beef tallow, and (c) ordered a gallon of palm oil and five gallons of expeller-pressed coconut oil. So I'm having fun playing.
Plus, it's tough when you've got a toddler on your hands who's addicted to French fries. So addicted, that anytime we go to a restaurant and anyone at the table orders fries, she refuses to eat anything else.
Speaking of said toddler, see my post about the fact that she is slightly anemic. I think it was “milk anemia”, which is fairly common for this age group. Which is why I whipped up this dish of fried clams for her. Did you know that clams are really high in iron? Who knew? Popeye should have been noshing on fried clams, not spinach.
It turns out that clams have more iron than any other food. In one 2.5 ounce serving of clams, you get a whopping 21 mg of iron. That's almost 3 times as much iron as chicken liver (8.7 mg for 2.5 ounces) and almost 9 times as much as beef (2.4 mg).
Makes a plate of clams — enough for a toddler's meal (contains about 42 mg of iron — toddlers need about 7 mg per day according to the RDA)
Rendered beef tallow, lard, or expeller pressed coconut oil (1 cup) — I don't like using regular virgin coconut oil because it imparts a coconut flavor — where to buy coconut oil
Clams in shell (3 lbs.) — I used littleneck clams; you could probably use clams in a jar or can — about 5 oz worth — I can't vouch for the taste of jarred clams, however
Cream, from grass-fed cows if possible (1/2 cup)
Egg (1) — pastured eggs are best
Sprouted flour (1/2 cup) — where to buy sprouted flour
Sea salt (1/2 tsp) — where to buy sea salt
A few turns of fresh grounded black pepper
1. Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg.
2. Put the sprouted flour in another bowl and mix in the salt and pepper.
3. Turn the heat on low and melt the tallow, lard or expeller pressed coconut oil in a skillet.
4. While the oil is melting, shuck the clams using a good oyster knife. Cover your wrist and forearm with a thick dishtowel to prevent injury. Pour off the liquid (you can reserve it for another use).
5. Stir the clams into the cream and egg mixture until they have absorbed it.
6. Dredge the clams in the flour mixture until well-coated.
7. Turn the heat up and test the temperature. When the temperature reads 350-375 degrees (350 for coconut oil. and 375 for beef tallow or lard), drop the clams in. Don't crowd them — you can do two batches if you need to.
8. Fry 2 minutes on each side — or until golden brown.
9. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt.
10. Serve with lemon and homemade tartar sauce or, if you're feeding a toddler, ketchup.