Food Topic: Shellfish
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-When shopping for shellfish buy live or if unavailable buy cooked products that have been canned or frozen and dated. In the case of shucked shellfish meats such as scallops buy those in a fresh state, again ask how fresh they are. Don't buy live clams and mussels that have gaping shells, they should be closed or shut with a little hand pressure. Lobsters and crabs should be moving and not sagging at the joints and tails.

 -Purchasing shellfish:
1 to 2 lb. lobster per person
1 to 2 lb. crabs per person
12 to 15 mussels per person
6 to 12 oysters depending on size
6 to 12 clams depending on size

 -Shrimp preparation-To peel and de-vein the shrimp, first hold onto the tail while gently removing the shell around the body. The tail can be detached completely at this point, or left attached for presentation purposes. The "vein" is then removed; make a shallow cut lengthwise down the outer curve of the shrimp's body. Pick out the dark ribbon-like vein running lengthwise along the shrimp's back with a pointed utensil. Then rinse the shrimp under cold running water. If you have detached the tail, you can pinch the vein at the tail end and pull it completely out with your fingers.

-To improve the taste of commercially canned clam chowder, simmer the soup with fresh chopped onion, diced cooked bacon or ham and chopped fresh chives or parsley for 6-8 minutes.

 - I have a great recipe for Oven-Blackened Sea Scallops.  Email me at for a copy of the recipe.

 Almond Baked Shrimp

Yield: 4 appetizers of 3 shrimp each

  c  unbleached, all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

 c  milk
1 egg white

12 each uncooked, peeled and de-veined jumbo shrimp, tail on (see above)

1 c  sliced almonds,  coarsely crushed

Olive oil, butter or vegetable oil

 Mix flour and salt together in a shallow bowl.  Whisk the milk and egg white in another shallow bowl.  Dredge the shrimp (not the tails) in the flour, then the milk mixture.  Press almonds over shrimp and place on greased sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, butter or vegetable oil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until firm to the touch and the almonds are lightly toasted.
Serve with fresh lemon wedges.




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