little neck clam balls

What kinda balls do you have is a play on words; this is a food blog; the question is, what kinda balls do you make with littleneck clams? 


5 pounds fresh littleneck clams, 5  chopped garlic cloves, 1 cup purple onions, chopped, 2 celery stalks, chopped, 4 green onions, 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped, 1 tablespoon red bell pepper, 2 cups clam broth, 6 hard-boiled eggs,  1/2 cup cooked rice, 2 cups bread crumbs, 1/4 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup white wine, peanut oil for frying.

Thoroughly wash the clams, remove all the stuff or blemishes that are on the shells, set aside.  Heat approximately 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large cast-iron skillet, bring the oil up to medium heat.  Add the onions; when the onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, make sure you do not brown or burn the garlic.    Add the wine, water, and butter.  Cook for another 5 minutes or until the butter melts.  Now it’s time to add the clams.  Cover the skillet and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any clams that did not open. Put the opened clams in a bowl.  Season the broth to taste with cayenne, chicken bouillon, and black pepper, set aside.

Once the clams have cooled, remove them from the shells, dump them into the food processor, add the celery, onion, bell pepper, green onions and grind to a paste.  Pour this mixture into a bowl, combine the rice, and chopped boiled eggs.  Add clam broth a little at a time, until this mixture is smooth, and the consistency is firm. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. While the clam paste is cooling, make up your egg wash and bread crumbs. In a bowl, add and beat the eggs, along with 5 tablespoons of the clam broth; this is your egg wash.  Grind the bread crumbs to dust.  In another bowl, add the bread crumbs and flour. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the clam and rice mixture from the refrigerator. Scoop out a heaping spoon of the mixture form into a ball about the size of a walnut.   Roll the balls in the flour mixture, then dip the balls in the egg wash, let the excess wash drip off.  Roll the balls back in the flour mixture; make sure the balls are completely covered with the flour mixture.

Now it’s time to fry.  In a heavy skillet, add about 3 inches of peanut oil. When the oil reaches approximately 450 degrees, add the balls to the oil; do not overcrowd. It takes around 2-3 minutes for the balls to cook and turn golden brown on all sides. When the balls float and are a beautiful golden brown, remove them from the skillet and drain them on a wire rack.

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