Vivian Howard and Frank Lee cook up some Clam Hash
For some reason the rabbit ears on my TV won't pick up PBS. I've called SCETV several times but it appears the channel can't reach my corner of the peninsula. Which is a major bummer. It means no Downton, no Kenny B (that's Ken Burns to you layfolk), and no A Chef's Life like last night's episode featuring S.N.O.B.'s Frank Lee.
Lee appeared on Chef Vivian Howard's (the head chef and co-owner of the restaurant Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, NC) program to share some stories about Gullah cuisine and a special Gullah recipe for Clam Hash. Using Clammer Dave's clams, Lee said he learned the recipe from Daisy Smalls, a Gullah women who worked for his great aunt at her house on Pawley's Island. Incidentally, Lee notes that he once offered the dish on his menu, but because of the name, it didn't sell.
Lee's team was kind enough to share his recipe.
Chef Lee’s Clam Hash
Serves 4 people
12-16 medium to large clams (shells scrubbed, shucked raw, cleaned of muddy sack, chopped)
8 slices bacon
1 medium onion chopped
6-8 saltine crackers
2 large tablespoons chopped parsley
· Soak clams in icy water. Scrub the shells and clean the clams of any muddy parts.
· Over a large bowl, shuck the clams (NOTE: I use a sharp knife and hand protection for this step).
· Separate the clams from the liquid. Be sure to remove any little pieces of shell from the shucking. Strain and reserve remaining juice to remove shell and grit. Save liquid. Chop the clams. ·
· Cook the bacon crisp in a large skillet (I like a 9-10” cast iron) – remove, reserve bacon. Pour off most of the fat and add the onion, cook until tender.
· Add the chopped clams and the juice. Bring to a quick simmer.
· Crumble the saltines in the hash to thicken – remove from heat.
· Just before serving, add the chopped parsley and crumble the bacon on top. Daisy would serve the hash over stone ground whole grits with soft scrambled eggs and sliced tomato.