Gribble Bridge Dornfelder|2013Biddenden, Kent
8 large razor clams (2 per person)
1 clove of garlic sliced thin
½ shallot sliced finely
100ml white wine
1Tbs Vegetable oil
100g Butternut squash, finely diced
50g courgette, finely diced (flesh only)
30g shallot finely diced
10g raisins chopped
10g capers, drained, finely chopped
1tbs Sherry vinegar
½ lime juiced
pinch of fresh dill chopped
2tbs tomato sauce
1tbs olive oil
Season to taste with salt and pepper
100g corn flour
10g baking powder
Sparkling water, ice cold – just enough to create a thin batter
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Optional: fine julienne of raw butternet squash
Fine julienne of raw courgette skin
Additional fresh dill
Make sure the clams are fresh and still alive before cooking.Thoroughly wash the clams removing the grit. Use lidded pan large enough to hold all of the clams: Place over high heat. Add the oil, shallot and garlic. Quickly add the clams and white wine. Steam briefly in the white wine (30 seconds ish – it will take a lot less than muscles or other clams) until the clams just open. Drain the clams and reserve the liquid.When the clams are cool enough to handle remove the meat from the shells. Wash and reserve the shells for presentation. Ther muscle is divided into two parts: The white main muscle and the darker “dirty” bit. Trim away the darker part. There are two flaps of muscle on either side of the darker bit – think skirt on a scallop. Remove these and reserve for the scrump.Thinly slice the white muscle. One third should be added to the skirt meat and used for scrump. The other 2/3 will be used for the crudo.
Over medium heat, gently cook the shallot in oil for one minute. Add the butternut squash and continue to oook for another minute. Add the courgette, and cook 30 seconds.Add the sherry vinegar and cook briefly. Add the tomato sauce capers and raisins. Finish with the fresh herbs and lime juice. Cook just until the flavours marry. There should still be texture in the mixture. Adjust the seasoning and then allow to cool and reserve.
Combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the sparkling water. Stir gently with awhisk until just combined. Do not over-mix. (Think tempura vs beer batter!).Keep the batter refrigerated until ready to use.
Combine the white clam meat with a large spoonful of the gourd pickle. Mix well. Check the seasoning. Adjust with a bit of lime zest, juice and salt if necessary.Place the clam and pickle mix on four of the razor clam shells. Divide the remaining pickle between the remaining shells.Heat he fryer to 350 F.Fry a small branch of sea purslane, until it becomes crispy. Drain on a paper towel and reserve.Dry all of the small pieces of clam that you are going to fry. Work in small batches. Add a good pinch of the clam meat to the batter; let them drain briefly before placing into the fryer. (a little extra fried batter is a beautiful thing!) Cook until they are evenly coloured. Remove to a paper towel. Season immediately and keep warm. Repeat.Top the gorge pickle with fired clam bits. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds, the optional garnishes (if using) and the sea purslane branch. Serve while the clam scrump is warm.
Find out more information about Saltwood on the Green here |www.saltwoodrestaurant.co.uk
Find out more about Biddenden Vineyards here |www.biddendenvineyards.com