Shuck and trim your clams--the secret to tender clams is to completely trim away the neck and use only the belly. If they're muddy, rinse and pat dry.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat the shortening over medium heat in a deep fryer or a heavy, deep skillet until it melts and reaches 375 degrees F.
Combine 4 cups cold water and the milk in one dish. This is called the "wash." Combine the flours in another dish to make the "breader." Using your hands, dip about a third of the clams in the wash. Shake off the excess liquid. Dredge the clams in the breader, making sure the clams are evenly coated. Transfer to a colander or use a large slotted spoon and shake off extra breader. Drop into the oil and fry until golden, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove and keep warm in the oven while you finish the rest.
Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.