Clams were being canned during the 19th Century, which allowed people not living on coast access to them. Below are some recipes from the era.
Two dozen clams chopped. Stir into them three well beaten eggs and three tablespoonsful of their own liquor; add flour enough to make a thin batter; fry in a spider in hot butter and lard. When brown on one side, turn the other side.
Margery Daw in the Kitchen.
Source: Riverside Recipe Book ©1890
Select firm, small, round tomatoes, scald, peel them, chill on ice, remove the centers, drain and chill again. For six persons allow three dozen little neck clams. Mix together six tablespoons of lemon juice, six tablespoons of tomato catsup, one third of teaspoon of a teaspoonful of tabasco sauce and one and a half teaspoonfuls of salt. Into each tomato cup put half a dozen clams, add two tablespoons of dressing and serve each on a lettuce leaf.
Source: Table Talk ©1899
CLAMS A LA NEWBURG.
One pint raw clams, take out the soft part, remove the black end and chop the tough parts very fine.
Put one tablespoon of butter in a stew pan with one-half teaspoon salt and a salt spoon of paprika, add the clams and simmer ten minutes. Then add two tablespoons of sherry and the soft part. Beat yolks of two eggs, mix with half a cup of cream, and stir in quickly and remove as soon as the egg thickens.
Cook one-fourth cup of soft bread crumbs in half cup milk, and when thick add one tablespoon butter, one salt spoon of salt and pepper, one teaspoon chopped parsley, and one dozen large clams chopped fine. Sift in the
yolks of two hard boiled eggs, and then the whites, using a potato ricer. Fill large clean shells with the mixture, cover with buttered cracker crumbs and bake until brown.
Chop twelve large raw clams very fine, season them with salt and black pepper and stir in half a cup of flour, and two well beaten eggs. When well mixed add more flour if too thin, then drop by tablespoonfuls into hot lard, and when brown skim out, drain on paper and serve.
Procure clams in the shell, wash and scrub thoroughly and steam until shells open, using only half a cup of water or enough to keep them from
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"burning. When cool enough to handle, remove from the shell, strip off the dark membranes, cut off the black end, and separate the soft body from the tough strap. Chop that fine, then mix and set away to cool. Dress them with a French dressing made quite acid, and serve with lettuce.
CLAM AND POTATO SALAD.
Prepare as for the former recipe, but use only the tough part chopped fine. Use twice as much sliced potato, and the yolk of one hard boiled egg and one teaspoon of sliced onion for each cup of potato. Season highly with salt and black pepper, then pour on as much oil as the potato will absorb, and half as much vinegar as oil.
Or omit the egg and oil, and moisten with a boiled dressing.
Select clams in the shell, wash and scrub thoroughly and change the water until clean. Put them in a kettle with a pint of cold water for half a peck of clams. Cover tightly and let them cook until the shells open. Skim out the clams, pour off the liquor carefully into a pitcher, and let it stand until clear. Then pour off again from the sediment, and if too strong dilute it with water as desired, and to each quart of liquid, add the white and crumbled shell of one egg, and a little pepper.
Place over the fire and let it boil five minutes, constantly stirring until the egg has thickened. Draw it back and when it is clear, strain it carefully. Serve hot or cold, in cups with whipped cream and wafers.
Recipes for Clam Chowder, Fritters and Steamed Clams were given in the August, '95, number, page 238; Cream of Clams in May, '96; Clam Frappe, June, '97; Gam Juice and Puree in January, '98; Clam Fritters and Clam Soup in March, '98.
Source: Everyday Housekeeping ©1898
Clam soup is a common dish in America. Clam is a shell-fish, in shape like our oyster, and tins of clams can now be bought in England. For clam soup, take twenty-five chopped clams, to their liquor add two quarts of water, and boil slowly for an hour, and then add a quart of milk; mix five tablespoonfuls of flour, with a good-sized piece of butter, and stir gently into the broth, then beat up three eggs, and add them carefully, or the soup will curdle, for which reason the milk must be warmed separately before it is added to the broth; now strain out the clams to make it clear, and serve at once. Pepper, salt, and a little chopped parsley should be added before the milk is poured into the broth.
Source: The Girl's Own Indoor Book ©1892