Some easy down home shell fish recipes
In all areas check to see if and when there is a season for shell fish. In some areas the water becomes to warm and the shell fish become bad for human consumption.There are two general types of clams, the soft slams and the hard or quahog clams. Hard clams include three classes: the littlenecks (small), the cherry stone (medium) and the large chowder clams, or known to some people as bar claims 4 ½ inches in width. The littleneck and cherry stone clams may be used uncooked. Clams are sold in the shell by the pound, but keep in mind the bar clams are much larger and there for in a recipe you don’t need as many. It only takes 8 bar clams to make a dozen. (Little bit of hummer)
If clams are purchased in the shell, discard any which are not tightly closed or which do not close when lightly tapped. They are unsafe for use. Cover clams with cold water and sprinkle corn meal over the top, using 1 cup for each peck of clams.Let stand 3 hours or overnight to allow the clams to take in the meal and work out any sand, which might be in them, then scrub the shells well and open with a strong knife as for oysters. The larger slams are usually steamed open.
CLAMS COOK IN THEIR SHELL
Steamed30 clams in the shellJuice of ½ lemon6 tablespoons butterSalt and pepper
Vinegar can be used instead of lemon juice.The hard-shelled clam is used for steaming. Scrub the shell with a brush and wash free of sand in several waters. Steam the clams in a steamer for 10 minutes, or until opened. While the clams are steaming, melt the butter and mix with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lay a napkin on a hot platter and place the clams in their shells on this. Cover with a second napkin and serve. In eating remove the clam from the shell and dip it in the sauce. The thin, tough part known as the neck or siphon is not eaten.
ROASTED IN THE OVEN—Prepare the clams as for steaming, place in a pan, set the pan in a hot oven (425 degrees F.) and bake until the shells open. Remove the top shell, being careful not to spill the liquor. Arrange the clams in the half shell on plates and on each place a piece of butter and a little pepper and salt. Add lemon juice if desired. Serve immediately. This is true as well for other shell fish such as mussels and oysters.
CLAMBAKE—The seashore is the natural place for a clambake, but it is possible to have one at any place where there is a flat open space. Preparations should begin several hours before the time set for the meal. Any shell fish can be use in this manner or all of them.
Make a circle of flat stones—from 2 to 4 feet in diameter, according to the size of the party—and on this circle build a hot fire of wood. Let this burn for 2 to 3 hours. Than rake off the fire and cover the hot stones with fresh seaweed.
On this lay fresh clams in their shells; also, it desired, oysters, potatoes in the skins, corn in the husk, and any other food that may be steamed. Cover with a thick layer of seaweed, and over all spread a large piece of sailcloth (tarp) fasten down the edges with stones. Leave for 2 to 3 hours; remove the cloth and the top layer of seaweed, and rake out the clams and other foods as needed.
The same ingredients may be cooked in a large kettle with the bottom covered with and wet cheesecloth between the layers, but lack the fine flavor of the real clambake.
FRIED SOFT CLAMS1 pint soft clams1 egg, beaten2 cups fine bread crumbs or corn flourSalt
Wash soft clams and dry between towels. Dip in crumbs or corn flour, in beaten egg and again in crumbs. Fry in hot deep fat (375 degrees F.) until browned. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt. Clams may be dipped in batter as for fried oysters instead of in egg and crumbs. Serve with tartar sauce.
SAUTEED SCOLLOPS1 pint scallops1cup dry bread crumbsSalt and pepper1 egg, beaten
Drain scallops and remove any bits of shell, season with salt and pepper. Dip in fine crumbs, than in beaten egg and again in crumbs. Sauté quickly in shallow fat, turning to brown all sides. Do not cook longer than 5 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with tartar sauce. These are the prize of all the shell fish.
Sea mussels are as agreeable to the taste as oysters, and may be eaten when oysters are out of season. Canned mussels are obtainable nearly everywhere. When fresh mussels are used, the shells may be opened by steaming, or with a knife. The horny “beard” as they call it must be removed and discarded.Mussels may be used instead of oysters in any oyster recipe. Mussels are the most abundant of all the shell fish.
The shell of a live lobster is usually a mottled dark green. Boiling makes the shells of all lobsters turn bright red. Uncooked lobsters should be alive when purchased. In buying a boiled lobster, straighten its tail; if it springs back into place, the lobster was alive, as it should have been, when boiled. Lobsters are the most expensive of all the shell fish, and many people make a great deal of money lobster fishing around the shores of the maritime provinces.
TO BOIL AND DRESS A LOBSTER
Pick up live lobster back of the claws, remove any rubber bans from around the claws and plunge it into boiling water, head downward.
Add one-tablespoon salt to water, cover the pot and keep water boiling. A medium-size lobster will cook in about 20 minutes. Plunge it into cold water and when cool enough to handle, take the meat from the shell in the following order: Chop off the claws. Split the body lengthwise and remove and discard the stomach, a small sac just back of the head.
Running from the stomach to the base of the tail is the intestinal canal. If this does not pull out with the stomach, it must be lifted out with a fork in pieces, if necessary, and remove entirely.
Crack the claws and remove the meat. If the lobster is not to be served whole, take out the meat from the body, the creamy green fat, which constitutes the liver, and the coral or spawn found in the female lobsters. The spongy particles between the meat and shell are not used.
In cutting up the meat of cooked lobster, always use a silver knife or one of stainless steel, if possible, as ordinary steel knife discolors or darkens the meat.Save the body shell of the lobster to use in serving.
A final note, steaming lobsters until cooked enables the meat to be less salty. If the meat is removed from the shell right away there is no problem in removing the meat. If the lobster is put in the refrigerator for a time the meat tends to dry out and it is hard to remove from the shell. The difference when boiling, the meat is moister, and if not removed from the shell right away there is not as much chance for the meat to dry out. We referred to clams, mussels, oysters and scallops as shell fish but are they really fish, no, they are marine mollusks. Lobsters are also referred to as shell fish but no they are crustaceans.
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