Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oysters and Clams

Not much to say about these Wellfleets and Little Necks, except that N did a hell of a shucking job once again. Since we posted this photo, it was picked up by our latest online obsession, Food Gawker--a sort of porn site for food bloggers.

Here's a quick guide to a clean shucking oysters, according to the man himself...
  1. Grab a knife with a rigid, short, sharp blade and hold it in your strong hand. For me, that's my right. Don't use your best paring knife because it will probably get dinged up.
  2. Hold the oyster in a thickly folded kitchen towel placed over your other hand. (The towel protects you if the knife slips.)
  3. Find the soft part of the hinge on the back of the shell. On clams, this area is usually a darker color; on oysters it's lighter.
  4. Jam the point of your knife in there and pry the shell open by twisting the blade like a screwdriver. This part requires a lot of force and tons of patience. It took me dozens and dozens of tries before I got the hang of it. This is also the dangerous part, because when you're trying to push the blade in it can slip out and go into your hand. Careful.
  5. Once you make that screwdriver turn with the knife in the shell, you'll here a little pop as the whole thing instantly opens up. The shell is just open a little bit, but the worst is over.
  6. Run your knife along the top of the inside of the shell, releasing the meat from the shell.
  7. Open the shell all the way, and run your knife under the bottom half, releasing the meat from that part as well.
  8. Throw in a little lemon, a drop of Tabasco, and enjoy :)

Above: Releasing an oyster from the bottom shell. (Note that I'm not using a safety towel. Also note the blood at the base of my left thumb.)

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