Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clamburgers, or Recipe Contest F*ck-Up, Part Deux

While I liked the clams casino bruschetta recipe I came up with for the Chicken of the Sea recipe contest, I thought I could go one better. I thought, "why not try something more sandwich-y, like, clamburgers?"

(Yeah, go ahead, snicker like a 12-year-old boy. I'll wait.)

I like tartar sauce with fried clams, but I thought since this was for a recipe contest and all, I'd make a more upscale version flavored with lots of lemon, and call it "remoulade." And to give the sandwich texture, I'd put it on a toasted whole wheat English muffin. Because it's "healthful" and shit.

The resulting patties were like the love child of crab cakes and tod mun pla (Thai fish cakes). And amazingly economical - 2 cans of clams made 4 huge cakes for about $4. I'm betting these poor man's crab cakes would be even better if I left one can of clams whole and added a soupçon of Old Bay.


Clamburgers with Lemon Remoulade

Ingredients
2 cans Chicken of the Sea chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg white
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko
1 tablespoon canola oil
Lemon Remoulade (recipe follows)
1 medium tomato, sliced into 1/4" thick slices
4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted

Directions
Place 1 can of clams in bowl of food processor and pulse several times until the mixture is nearly a paste. Remove clam paste to a medium bowl and place second can of clams in processor. Pulse a few times to create small chunks. Remove and add to clam paste. Add garlic and onion powders, and stir in egg white and most of the breadcrumbs. If mixture seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs a teaspoon at a time. Stir in onion and salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour and up to 4 hours to firm the mixture.

When ready to make burgers:

Heat a sauté over medium heat. Add oil. While pan is heating, remove clam mixture from refrigerator. Shape into four patties. Press into panko to coat on both sides. Add to pan when oil is hot. Fry on both sides until a nice golden brown.

Place one patty on the larger half of each muffin. Top with tomato slice and a dollop of the remoulade. Cover with smaller half of muffin.

Serves 4.

Lemon Remoulade
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons capers
5 cornichons, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon coarse grain mustard
grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use
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For a side dish, I made baked potato "fries" and parsnip "fries." The parsnips burned (but we ate 'em anyway) and the potatoes didn't get as crispy as I would have liked, but they were tasty enough.

And once again, I neglected to take a photo of myself with the dish. But that was probably for the best, since I'm not all that keen on having my face plastered on a can of clams. I have a reputation to uphold, you know.