Razor Clams with Pecan Crust and Lime Aioli

The best fried razor clams ever! I've been preparing this recipe for over 15 years now, but for some inexplicable reason, this time I made a few changes. Not a good idea. First of all, instead of a food processor, I decided to use the Vitamix to mix the pecan crust ingredients. The motor is much too powerful and within a few seconds made a nut butter out of the pecans. Second mistake was using a nonstick pan rather than my tried and true cast iron. You just can't get that perfectly even high heat sear with nonstick! So much for experiments. I'll continue to make this fantastic recipe the way I always have.

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Razor clams (pounded VERY lightly to an even thickness)

2 c. toasted pecans
3/4 c. flour
1 to 2 tsp. cayenne (depending on your taste)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

LIME AIOLI: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and keep refrigerated.
2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. minced garlic
1/8 c. minced shallots
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 c. lime juice

For the pecan crust, pulse the flour, cayenne, brown sugar and salt until grainy in a food processor; add the toasted, cooled pecans, then blend. Lay out a plate with flour, a bowl with buttermilk, and another plate with the pecan mixture. Dredge the razor clams in the flour, then dip in the buttermilk, then press into the pecan mixture.

Fry in peanut or vegetable oil in a searing hot pan for 45 seconds per side ( no more, no less). Serve immediately with the lime aioli.