(bright music) - Hi, I'm Jacques Pépin, and this is "American Masters at Home."
I'm lucky enough to live next to the sea.
And sometimes, I used to go, at least not as much anymore, I used to go clamming like that.
You go in with your feet.
You can feel the clams.
Very often, those are going to be the very large one, the quahog or even larger than that.
And those are pretty difficult to open.
I mean, you can open that.
Like this one is opening.
You know, that's fine.
I can slide my knife in it.
But there are other ones where you find you can't open.
What you do, you break it this way with the back of a fork.
Watch out for the little pieces of shell here, of course.
I use my knife to get it loose, and the juice is in there.
Okay, here are all those pieces.
You kind of can't do it with smaller clams, but the large one like that, I do chowder with it sometimes.
But the three are really good in summer.
So you open all of your clams.
Make sure you get all the pieces here.
After that, what you want to make sure is that you wash those clams in the juice.
You really wash them in the juice and get them out.
I have like five clams here of that size, so probably going to have like half a cup of clams, probably half a cup of juice.
So again, the same idea here.
You pull that out gently.
You don't have to filter it really, just pour it out gently like this.
And you can see at the end, there are the things.
So make sure that there is no pieces of shell or anything like this.
So I have that half a cup of clam.
Then I add about, I would say, three tablespoons of onion, something like this.
A piece of jalapeno pepper.
Taste it again.
Sometime it's very hot.
Sometimes it's not.
This one is pretty hot.
So not too, too hot.
Question of taste, too.
Add a big, big clove of garlic here.
That will go in there.
This is nicely mixed.
So here I have half a cup of flour, and about 3/4 of a teaspoon of baking powder.
That will go in there.
Remember, I had half a cup of clam juice.
Again, that goes in there.
As you can see, I did not put all of the liquid to start with, because I don't know.
I think I like it about that thickness.
I need a dash of salt.
Probably a little dash of pepper too.
Okay, so, this I'm gonna drink, put a bit of vodka in there too, cracked pepper, and that's my cocktail.
Now when you're ready, you put them about, as you can see here, about that size.
Don't be afraid of the oil there.
Get close to it.
That's where you're not going to burn yourself when you get close to it.
If you get higher, it falls.
As you can see here, I did eight, and I haven't even done half of it.
So you would have 15, 16 of those.
Okay, so they would cook about five, six minutes at 350, 375.
And as you can see here, often a mistake, people always put it on a plate with paper towel.
When I fry anything, I learned that from the Koreans, you put it on a wire rack and that drain, it will drain the fat and all that.
Otherwise, the paper towel very often gets moist underneath and it gets soft underneath.
And that's how you would present them.
Maybe in there, like this, for a nice aperitif, clam fitters in my style.
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Thank you, and happy cooking.