Just in case you haven’t noticed, I love love shellfish. I have the fondest memories eating crabs at Long Beach Island, ordering pissers on the beach and eating lobster until I’m blue in the face (in a good way)! One year the clams just washed up on the shore in what felt like endless amounts. I remember my mom improvising with the rental home’s cooking supplies and stock pots to steam them all open for my family to eat, such a great memory!
I walked away from class with a few nuggets of information that I can’t wait to share with you, but the fun facts that stood out had to do with lobster. A hundred years ago, lobster was considered trash food, and only people who lived near it ate it. This delicate ingredient only became sought after when people far away started to consume it. Oh and the French think that lobster is one of the best things to come out of America, not surprising eh eh?
Some helpful tips when cooking with shellfish:
Always start cooking with live lobster – the moment it dies it starts to produce toxins
Never buy lobster in plastic wrap
Always use jumbo lump crab meat when making crab cakes and use back fin crab meat if you need to use any sort of filler
Mussels and clams should be tightly closed – if they are open don’t cook them
When boiling shrimp, season the water with mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion), bouquet garni (herbs), salt and vinegar – this ensures the shrimp stay firm while they boil and also adds flavor