Welcome to Bivalvia: Shell Stories & Recipes

It’s been a Bivalve kind of week… harvesting, cooking, dining and photographing all the way from Madison to Ballard to Brinnon to Port Ludlow then home.

Bivalvia is a class of marine and freshwater mollusks with bodies enclosed by a hinge. The family tree includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and other shells. In an unplanned yet perfectly played week, we celebrated Bivalvia.

Cooking: Cornmeal Fried Oysters with Dijon Pear Sauce

  • 2 eggs for beaten egg wash
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1-2 tsp of paprika
  • Oysters
  • Canola oil for frying

Mix together the dry ingredients. You could add other herbs at this point if you wanted too. Whisk eggs in separate bowl for wash. Heat up oil on medium high heat. You don’t need a deep pot of oil, just about a ½ inch. Dip the oysters (after rinsing and patting dry) in egg, then dredge in flour mixture then into the frying pan. Cook for a few minutes then turn over to cook the other side. Keep rotating until a nice brown forms and you figure out how long it took to get there. Don’t cram the pan with oysters as it will cool the oil down. When fried up, place on a paper towel to drain and then enjoy!

Dijon Pear Sauce

  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Pear jam (I canned it!)
  • ½ cup Yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together. Taste it and adjust by adding more of one thing or the other. You could use other jams as well like a marmalade or even a berry. I just happened to have a ton of pear jam from this past summer’s bumper crop.

For a tutorial on steamed clams, which were also consumed with reckless abandon this week, check out the Peasy Squeasy post. In the mean time -Surprise! When eating our steamed clams, we found some unfortunate “roommates” – mini-crabs! Who knew stowaway crabs in clams were a hazard…. We took the remaining clams out of their shell and popped them in the freezer. Future plans include clam pizza or quick pasta. Clam storage tip: put in mixing bowl, dry/no water, not covered, in fridge. They stay good for quite a few days, no ice required.

Dining: Rovers and Walrus & Carpenter

All part of the birthday celebration. Gory Rover’s details here at the 15 dish delish post!

Mollusk highlights: 1)Fava Bean Soup, Kusshi Oyster, White Sturgeon Caviar, Artichoke Mousse 2)Scallops, asparagus tips, arugula puree 3) oysters in the half-shell (W&C) 4) Fried oysters (we paired them up with donuts and invented the new chicken n’ waffle!)

Harvesting: First time goin’ clamming and oysterin’

Nothing quite like a fresh raw oyster while squatting on the sand you just selected it from. The sea beds are ripe with life, color shells and bivalves waiting to be consumed. It was all I could do to not collect all the shells I could and take them home! As a kid from a landlocked state, the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean was and still is a big deal. Did we ever collect shells! Lesson learned: the shells are hinged with a fleshy bit that EVEN THOUGH the shell looks clean and dry, actually sort of rots when left in the car in in a garbage bag in the sun… Ooops.

Port Ludlow Stopover

What adventures in Bivalvia do you have to share? Stay tuned for future visits…….

“It is not a matter of indifference whether we like oysters or clams, snails or shrimp, if only we know how to unravel the existential significance of these foods.” Jean-Paul Satre

One thought on “Welcome to Bivalvia: Shell Stories & Recipes

Leave a Reply