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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Quick 'n' easy clam cakes a dinnertime inspiration

Thursday, September 16, 1999

Tested by Betsy Kline

When last we visited Marguerite Hannon of Fox Chapel, she shared her recipe for Quick Crab or Lobster Bisque with us.

She certainly has a way with seafood.

Her latest entry to Countdown to Dinner is a tasty variation on crab cakes that can be served restaurant-style, showcased on dinner plate with garnishes and a splash of cocktail sauce, or plopped on a bun or kaiser roll for a delightful lunch with sides of oven-crisped french fries or deli coleslaw.

We used finely minced scallions instead of grated onion because that was all we had in the vegetable bin.

Clam Cakes

2 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams or 1 pint fresh minced clams (we used canned and drained well)
2 eggs
1 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 30 crackers), see note
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon grated onion (optional)
4 tablespoons butter or stick margarine

In medium-sized bowl, mix clams and next four ingredients

In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Spoon clam mixture into four mounds, gently flattening with the back of a spoon. Cook cakes until browned on both sides and heated through, about 10 minutes, turning once. (Hannon's note: "I have trouble turning things like this so I put them under the broiler for 5 minutes after about 5 minutes on stove. Tester's note: We shaped the cakes lightly with our hands and put them in the skillet, then flattened them slightly with a spatula. We used two spatulas, top and bottom, to flip the clam cakes, losing nary a crumb.)

Arrange some lemon slices on plate, if desired, and top with clam cakes. Makes 4 servings. Serve with deli coleslaw and french fries or chips.

Note: We put the saltines in a ziplock-style plastic bag and rolled a rolling pin over them a few times for very fine crumbs.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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