Monday, January 29, 2007

Jam Out With Your Clams Out

You know, like rock out with your… oh, never mind.

One thing I really miss in the Caribbean is shell fish; clams, oysters, mussels. The waters are too warm down here and just don’t support bivalve life – which makes me sad, because they are just such tasty little critters. So, I ordered frozen clams from a provisioner in Fort Lauderdale thinking that although I may not be able to have a heaping bowl of steamed clams in white wine broth, at least I can use them in another dish such as a seafood risotto, paella or as part of an hors-d’eouvre. The clams and mussels from the provisioner usually come pre-cooked on the half shell, but the provisioner sent me fresh clams by mistake. I called the fishmonger to see what was the best thing to do – steam them and freeze them, perhaps? He said to just throw them in the freezer, whole and in their shell and that they would be just fine. I was skeptical, but curious, so I threw them in the freezer, whole and in the shell.

I made a spicy callaloo soup a few weeks ago and thought a few steamed clams would be a nice garnish for the soup. So, I put a few of the frozen clams in a pot to see 1) if they would steam open. 2) how long would it take and 3) would the clams still taste good. Well, low and behold, you learn something new every day… The clams opened up perfectly in just a few minutes, taking maybe an extra minute or so since they were frozen and they tasted fresh and perfect! I was really surprised.

So, if you ever find yourself with an excess of fresh clams, just rinse them well (if need be, soak them so that they spit out their sand because you won’t be able to do this after you have frozen them), put them in a zip lock bag and throw them in the freezer. Then when you want to use them, just pop them in a pot and steam them open.

Also, oysters will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to two months as long as you put them in the back part of the fridge (the coolest part) and keep them covered with a moist towel (re-moisten it daily) and drain any excess water out of the bottom of the pan.

Spicy Callaloo Soup:

Something along the lines of a diced up onion, minced garlic and ginger all sweated out. Finely shredded callaloo (a whole lot), cooked chickpeas, a jalapeno pepper, a diced red pepper, a pinch of smoked pimenton, a dash of cumin, black pepper, salt, chicken stock. Finished with a squeeze of lemon and some clams. Or something like that. (No Dave, I guess this means that I haven't yet put any useable recipes on my blog. At least not for someone like yourself who literally burns down the house every time you turn on your stove! Can I suggest induction? Or perhaps reservations would be the safer bet. HA!)

Ok, so bare with me. I am trying to improve my food photography and recipe writing skills, but that's multi-tasking and I'm sitll learning to walk and chew gum.

1 comment:

sha said...

i do the photography you do the cooking and writing hehe

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