Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deviled Clams

In several recent posts I have mentioned deviled clams. I thought our readers might like to have the recipe. This is from the old "green" Ocracoke Cook Book published by the Woman's Society of Christian Service of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church. It sold for $1.00 forty years ago. It included such classic recipes as Stewed Diamond Back Terrapin (...remove claws, cut off head."), Stewed Swamp Turtle ("boil it until it starts to leave bone."), Beaten Biscuits ("Use...blunt end of a hatchet...and beat until it blisters and pops....") and Snow Cream ("...add snow last, serve immediately.").

Deviled Clams Recipe, by Mrs. Hilda Scarborough [my mother's notes in brackets]:

24 clams -- large -- ground [about 2 cups of clams, with juice]
2 cups bread cubes (crust removed) [1/2 cup bread crumbs]
1/2 cup butter [3 tbsp butter]
1 small onion
1 tbsp [1 tsp] Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 [1] eggs -- slightly beaten
1 cup rich milk or light cream [no milk unless it is too thick]
[1/4 tsp mustard]
[a little salt, pepper, & paprika {my mother was Hungarian!}]
[celery & green pepper]

Melt butter in heavy frying pan, saute onion till soft. Remove from fire. Add clams, bread cubes and W. sauce, dash pepper, add eggs. Return to fire (medium, not too hot). Gradually add milk. It may not take all of it as you want it fairly thick. Keep stirring till cooked through.

Put in buttered shells or casserole. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs and dot with butter. Put in fairly hot oven and brown (about 375 degrees) [bake at 350 degrees until brown].

If you have access to fresh clams, try this recipe. Deviled clams are delicious! Or...print out this recipe and bring it to Ocracoke on your next visit. Be sure to get some clams and try it out. You won't be disappointed.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of slavery on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Boil perhaps simmer-- now a days there are so many techniques available to a home cook as the collective consciousness has been raised via the food network channel. Granted if one is considering these vintage instructions for the amusement of a 21st century mindset so be it. The mainland has so many fantastic kitchens but the hostess turns to frozen macaroni. You often mention potluck dinners-- what are some of the more memorable dishes or the one you look forward to tasting at a OI Potluck meal....

  2. mm, yummy. my grandmother was a Scarborough from Ocracoke and we never knew why she named my mother, Hilda. Maybe a family name???

  3. sounds yummy

  4. Ocracoke has many traditional island cooks so fish, shrimp, and clams are favorites. We also have several gourmet cooks, some of whom have studied with Julia Child and other excellent chefs. You never know what will show up at a potluck dinner...but it's all yummy.

  5. Anonymous1:05 PM

    What time of year can you harvest clams? All year or only specific times?

  6. When it is cold the clams dig deeper into the sandy bottom, and it becomes difficult (and uncomfortably cold) to harvest them.