Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 53: The Clamburger

When I got home from my fishing trip, I still had 7lbs of butter clams to deal with from Monday night’s dig. The clams were still alive, shooting streams of salt water all over the garage. Jim was less than impressed.
I figured the boys would eat the clams while I was away, but I figured wrong. I should have known better. When I’m gone, Jim and the boys live on Johnsonville brats. I guess it’s better than hotdogs, but only by a slim margin.
Jaden is sick of eating soup, so making chowder wasn’t a great option. I thought about clam cakes, a creative version of crab cakes. But I’ve never been a huge fan of crab cakes. I find them kind of disappointing, tasting mostly the cake and only a hint of the crab. But I wanted to do something different with these clams and decided to create clamburgers.
The shelled clams produced 2lbs of meat. It was less than I imagined. I minced the clams, reserving the juice, and mashed them with cooked sweet potatoes, a bunch of chopped green onions, organic eggs, steel cut oats, cornmeal, and a few good shakes of Old Bay Seasoning. I formed large patties and pan-fried. I cooked Jim up a package of pre-pressed burgers bought a long time ago at Costco. He argued with me, swearing I was feeding him turkey burgers. I promised they were beef, and then went on a dissertation about downed dairy cow, and the poor quality of industrial meat. He seemed to digest without trouble.
Meanwhile, the kids dug into the clamburgers. And can I just say that my creation was fantastic. The sweet potatoes were perfect binder and complimented the slightly nutty clam meat. The oats and cornmeal added depth and crispiness, and the old bay and green onion proved flavorful. But best of all, the clamminess really came through. I made 12 burgers and tucked half in the freezer for a future meal. The meal experiment has me thinking about the versatility of clams as a ground meat. You know, instead of ground beef. I’m thinking lasagna, spaghetti, and enchiladas. I’ll be hitting the beach for more clams soon. I can’t wait to try out this sustainable and healthy protein source in new ways.


  1. I told my chef friend about your blog. He said you are at the forefront of the next big foodie trend, "trace-ability." He also said he's been cooking for 35 years and would never have thought to put yams and clams together. Keep after it!

  2. Yams and clams worked very well together. I got the idea when researching crab cake versions. One called for instant potatoes. I'm just not the instant type. From instant, I went to fresh, and fresh to sweet. Easy.

    I think one of the most enjoyable portions of this project is the creativity infused in the kitchen. Fun & Yummy.