|Shucked clams||2 Cup (32 tbs) (soft-shell or long- neck)|
|Fine crumbs||1 Cup (16 tbs), pulverized in a blender or placed between sheets of wax paper and crushed with a rolling pin (made from saltine crackers)|
|Ground hot red pepper||1 Pinch (cayenne)|
|Black pepper||1⁄8 Teaspoon, freshly ground|
|Vegetable oil||2 Tablespoon|
1. To prepare the clams drain the clams and discard all but 4 teaspoons of the clam liquor.
2. With a sharp knife, cut off the dark necks of the clams, discard them and chop the soft round bodies of the clams coarsely.
3. In a deep bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a wire whisk or fork.
4. Stir together thoroughly, adding chopped clams, clam liquor, cracker crumbs, red pepper, salt and black pepper.
5. In a separate bowl, with a whisk or a rotary or electric beater beat the egg whites until they are stiff enough to form unwavering peaks on the beater when it is lifted from the bowl.
6. With a rubber spatula, scoop the egg whites over the clam mixture and fold them together gently.
7. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.
8. Line a large shallow baking dish with paper towels and place it in the center of the oven.
9. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet to a depth of about 1/2 inch heat the oil until it is very hot but not smoking.
10. To make each fritter, pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.
11. Leaving enough space so that they can spread into 2-inch cakes, fry the fritters 5 or 6 at a time for about 3 minutes on each side.
12. When they are brown and crisp around the edges, transfer the fritters to the lined pan and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the rest.
13. Serve the fritters as soon as they are all cooked, accompanied if you wish by lemon wedges.