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seafood

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I saw a prior fourm with seafood was deleted, it might be cool to start something for the non pros to read. I get lots of seafood questions regarding cooking, buying and finding some seafood. Seafood can be trickey to cook and there might be some culinary ideas / tricks to help the pros. Anyone gettin warm fuzzies over this?
Tom
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post #2 of 51
Thread Starter 
OK then, I will stat with some of the dishes I like to make:

Carriabean Grouper - Black Grouper, Jullinne tri Color Peppers, Jullenne Onions, Garlic, Seeded and Sliced Jalapino (to taste), Fumet and Sherry wine. When you use a thick cut of Grouper you can braise this after pan searing and it looks great for plate up. I reduce the Sauce Quite a bit so it is almost a glaice.

I love Mussels and Clams - Cooked just about any ethnic style but I find that when you go out to eat quite often they are not taken out of the pan as they open, I feel this is critical to getting them out to ther guest nice and plump and beautiful, furthermore, quite often the sauces come out more like a soup (wich is fine in some styles of service) instead of a more robust and hartier apperance. Also on this sublect I feel that the herbs are added to early in some asian or Fresher Veggie types of preperation. Overall most places just do not pay much attention to steamers and mussels as an item that requires culinary skills.

Now I am off to an early lunch of Carved Roast beef and COLD Beer before the big storm.

Next I will discuss Frying - one of the best ways to make seafood!

Tom
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post #3 of 51
Next I will discuss Frying - one of the best ways to make seafood!

Typed like a true southerner.......

One of my favorite mussel dishes had seafood stock, coconut milk, lemon grass, alittle curry paste, Kiffer lime leaves and cilantro.....french bread for sopping....the sauce was thicker than a broth soup. Oh my, we guarded the bowl jealously and did not leave a drop when the waiter finally took it away.

Seafood gumbo.....you make the soup and have the seafood ready to go in just before serving.....that way the shrimp, oysters and crab are not mush.
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post #4 of 51

Grilled Tuna

Oh, is this thread making me hungry!

My wife and I have a birthday tradition of cooking the dinner of the celebrant's request (actually, we have fun cooking it together). My most frequent pick is a sesame-crusted thick tuna steak grilled rare (preferably over charcoal, but pan grilling works just fine when the weather is freezing outside--fortunately my birthday is in June) with a dipping sauce.

You need a steak about 1-1/2 inches thick or better (at our local farmers' market, the fishmonger will cut it to order). Brush it with veg oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roll in sesame seeds. Grill over a medium hot fire on an oiled rack for about six minutes or as desired, turning but once. Or heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet or grill pan until almost smoking. Sear steaks for about 30 seconds per side, then turn the heat down to medium high and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Check for your desired state of doneness with a paring knife.

The dipping sauces we like are based around soy sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 2-1/2 tsps sugar, 2 tsp grated giner, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Or substitute lime juice for the vinegar and/or 2 tsp wasabi powder for the pepper flakes and/or pickled ginger for the fresh.

Oh, boy!
post #5 of 51

Fish in the Pan

One of the easiest fish recipes I know of comes to my from a southern cook and works great with the farm-raised catfish fillets we find at reasonable prices in our area.

Brush the fish generously on both sides with yellow mustard (my friends below the Mason-Dixon line would be horrified if you used something snotty like Dijon, but I won't tell), roll in seasoned yellow corn meal (salt, pepper, and if you like, a touch of ground thyme or a tiny pinch of cayenne), and pan fry in a quarter inch or so of vegetable oil, about 5 minutes on a side. Serve with lemon or tartar sauce, as moves you.

The crunchy cornmeal crust holds the moisture in (you have work hard to dry out fish with this recipe) and does not absorb as much fat as other coatings.

We'll also fry talapia fillets with a panko crust, but that's a bit more work, requiring a flour dip, egg, and then the panko crumbs.

Pan sauteing thin fillets without a crust takes a lot more care to avoid drying them out (forget that 10 minute rule here--press the fish with a finger to check doness). With a non-stick pan, you can use very little fat. That said, we prefer to add a quick pan sauce, which can be be as simple as browned butter and lemon or a warm balsamic vingearette.
post #6 of 51
JonK, I've made your sesame tuna for parties and placed slices of tuna on a spicy napa slaw. Spicy citrus sauce works well too......

boursin or garlic herb cheese with spinach and white wine, shallots is another good combo with about any fish....I made it a couple of weeks ago with sole....first time I'd used sole in years, the price and freshness were right.

Monk fish is one of my favorites, and I don't make it nearly enough.......curried is fun.

soft shell crabs are another favorite.....I like um stuffed with a dense crab filling then deep fried (tempura is fine)...topped with more lump crab (I know it's now verging on gluttony) with lemon butter and parsley....a spicy creole mustard sauce on the side.

Crawfish bisque, crawfish boil, crawfish etouffe, crawfish salad....deep fried tails....

Oysters Bienville, oysters rockerfeller, oysters on the half shell, fried, po-boy......roasted, loafed.....

Shrimp...BBQ, grilled, boiled, stir fried, fried, stuffed and fried, Greek with tomatoes, onions, oregano, feta and white wine,.....cocktail, remoulade....

BUBBA!!!!!!!!
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post #7 of 51
shroom, where do you stuff the softshells? Underneath the carapice, where the gills were?
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post #8 of 51
yep, remove the gills 1st......

I can remember my sister in law who grew up in Provo Utah visiting us in Baton Rouge, La.....she was a trooper, ate a raw oyster, soft shelled crab...afterwards asked when the oysters die (dang if I know and actually never wanted to think about it too much), then asked if we were eating the eyes of the crab....well personally I snip off their little faces with a pair of scissors, but again when in the deep south specifically New Orleans you just don't ask alot of questions like that....chere you are eating all kinds of things most people would scrunch up their noses at. I prefer the no ask no tell policy on New Orleans food, unless of course your trying to replicate it.
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post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
OK, sorry I am back for a breef moment, the wife and I had a great afternoon! Dont look now but I think she is going to take advantage of me!
But on a food note I wil be back tommrow morning to post my food thoughts!
Tom
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post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Good Morning! We have about 15 inches of snow so far in fromt of our house (I just measured) and it is still comming down! Looks like We will be staying home today! The basic NO fry breading used just about anywhere in the region is equal parts flour, cornmeal and cornflour (I have to special order this up in the north here, but is is essential to frying seafood perfect) seasoned how you like (lots of locals use tony Chaceries0 My basic Seasoning is Salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayene pepper, ground thyme and paprika. The cornflour at the Indian stores will do but the stuff in La is ......... more corney to me (if that makes sence).
The keys to good frying are GOOD clean oil, the correct temp, DO NOT overload the fryer and bread to order. Most everyone who has worked for me or with me at first thinks I am nuts. I will filter a fryer 4 and 5 times a day or even more! But once I show them how to fry seafood properly they get a whole different attitude, when done perfectly it is the best way to taste any seafood. I have gone round and round on this subject with many chefs (most who say is a basic broiling). But once I show them how it works and how it taste, I usually win them over. As all of you know when fried properly the food is actually steamed in its own juices and if served right away is crisp on the outside and wonderfully juicy and moist on the inside (wow this is starting to get a bit risque'!!!!! LOL).

Fried Oysters:
Drain the Oysters (save that Liquor, or **** just drink it!!!)
Scramble some eggs and season with whatever blend you want and add the oysters, let em soak in the fridge for a bit (at least ann hour)

When ready to fry (at home I have a good quality store bought table top that has an excellent recovery time, and I fry outside just so I do not stink up the house), heat the oil (I fry seafood at 360), the more the better as long as it is in the safety zone for spillage and splatter. Drain the oysters and coat them WELL in copious amounts of the breading (very important to not let the breading get to "wet", sift it and change it often). I cook no more than 8 - 10 good size counts (enough for a seriously stuffed 12 inch Po-Boy, the size that leaves you compelety oyster po-by satisfied but leaves room for a few dozen raw and some frostys). You let them cook for a bit then make sure they are all seperated and cooking evenly. they are done when they look nice and crisp but still plump (aprox. 1.5 - 2 min, in my fryer). When you remove them drain them breefly but DO NOT push, crush, squish prod or otherwise maul them in any way (keep them juices in so they soak into your bread!). For me I put mayo on one side of the bread, aproxmately 1/2 bottle of tobasco on the other , pound it full of oysters, some shredded Iceberg and tomatoes (if they are good, or=therwise I leave them out) and a bit of shaved red or sweet onions. Then I fold it up and Squish it just a bit to get the oysters flowing, take a long draw of a frosty and CHOW!!!!!!!!!
I do love mussels asian style (they carry the strong flavors well) espically with the formentioned thai prep (I have made them allmost exactly like that befor and they were killer shrommer!). Clams do not always do as well with that style (unless perhaps in a thai "Boulibasse").
Gumbo, in NO we make a red/black roux for seafood (the lightter the food the darker the roux is the rule of thumb). In the restaruaunt I make Peanut roux, red roux and black roux in the oven about twice a week and hold it in soup baines at room temp and add whatever color to whatever food as needed. In La you can buy "gumbo Crabs" esentially cleaned crabs that are light or "weak" and they are used along with the shrimp peelins to make the stock. Saute up your veggies, I cook 1/2 the Okra in the Veggie mix and add the other 1/2 when it is done., with your seasoning, add the drained and Strained Stock and stir in the roux at room temp (do not stop stirin till all the roux is disolved and the gumbo base is boiling again. This is your Gumbo Base, it should be pretty thick so when you add your seafood it will thin it out to the consistency you want when you serve it. Chill this in ice to below 40 as fast as possible.
To make 1 larege soup baine - heat the base to a boil, add Raw shrimp, crab claw meat, Raw oysters and the liquor and some okra. Bring just to below boil and put it covered in your hot soup warmer for about 5-10 more minuites. Put it in a bowl and top with some cooked rice (and soppin bread).
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post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
I love catfish just about any way (it with some shrimp makes a real rich gumbo, just cook some "sacrifical Catfish" peices in with the veggies and procide regular, when the time to add the seafood to the base comes use smaller peices of catfish and cook them a bit longer before you put in the shrimp and Okra) just remember to cut the dirty line out of the larger filets, it can make the fish tast "muddy).
The fried Mustard catfish is a classic and dam good! We did a Creole Catfish in NO where we marinated the filets in White wine Zatarans creole mustard and Seasoning for about an hour or two, drained it and ten you Press it in your seafood breading to make a hard crust and Panned it (finish it in the oven). The Culinary trick to this is to not crack the breading getting it to the plate, use a long spat. We served it on Blackeye peas and rice, when the customer cracks the crust it will be all steamey and wonderfull!
I saw a cool preperation of monkfish once. this chef took the raw loin of unifourm leingth, wrapped it in plastic real tight poached it then cooled it then sliced it in medalions for a Quick Saute, it looked awesome, nice and even peices and white!
YEs Peelers! Soft shell crabs to most folks. I like em BIG, FAT AND LIVE!
To clean em you snip off the face, pull back the side flaps and remove the gills and cut off the apron, DO NOT manhandle them Keep as much moisture in them as possible, if you are not a huge restauraunt, clean them and cook them to order. I like mine fried Crisp, as for other seafood, perhaps on a bed of seafood dirty rice or red bean and garlic mashed and lemon burre blanc or creole meuiner. Also Wonderfull on a PO-BOY or good Kaiser. I usually do not like them Sauteed, they just get to mushey for my taste and the textur is "weird). I did make and amazing Soft shell bisque once when I had a bunch of them, basic bisque, cooked the peelers in it, pureed it and pased it through a seiv then topped with Chives and Rice, unbeleivably rich but wow good!
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post #12 of 51
Bluesy, that's the first time I've read about scrambled eggs used in fried oysters.....milk bath or ice water bath but not scrambled eggs....how's that work, as in what do they do to the oysters?

*food is sensual, we've had loads of stuff in the archives circa 2000-2002 that were pretty hot....anything that involves passion generates energy.
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post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
It works great, it creates just a little Coating that lets the breading adhere a tiny bit better but still stays nice and thin / crunchy! the only problem is you have to really work the seasoning in to get it to not be clumpy.
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post #14 of 51
are we talking cooked eggs or raw?
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post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Ra, sorry! that was probably the confusion! just scrambeled raw eggs seasoned.
Tom
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post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 

Boiled and Steamed

I loved boiled Seafood as well as steamed. In New Orleans they boil Shrimp, Crab and Crawfish in a Courtbillon. They make it salty and spicey so you need lots of beer. In the Northeast they steam lots of stuff. I know they love old bay in Marryland and they put a little vinegar in the steaming liquid. In New england they use pretty much straight h2o and or layer with Seaweed. I have an insteresting way I make boiled Shrimp, it is a major pain but they do come out awesome.
I make a courtbillion with Zatarans boil bags, Tony Characies Seasoning, water, Salt and Cayene Pepper, I add some Garlic heads cut in half some onions cut in half and some lemons and oranges cut in half. Then I strain the mixture and take 1/4 of the broth and freeze it in hotel pans, and the rest I put in the walkin to cool. I take 1/2 of the cool mix add more veggies and if needed seasoning and cook the shrimp Shell on) in it just till they start to pop up to the top, never boil. The unique part is I Shock them in the chilled Courtbillion and shattered cubes and let them soak in dat, they retain lots more of the flavor and are really good. I will strain and recycle the broth several times before I toss it out and start new. I do use allmost excluseivly Bee Gee shrimp either 16/20's or larger so they still taste like Shrimp.
I have a friend down Plaquaiams Parish with a fish camp and his Grandpa use to cook fresh caught shrimp like this then take the leftovers and fry them in cornmeal breading for one of the best (and most unique) fried shrimp I ever ate!
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post #17 of 51
good idea, I love using the cooled liquid.

My boil is heavy salt, Zataran's boil bags, cayene, lemons, garlic heads.....
we put in corn, loads of potatoes (I like red B's....talk about FINE potato salad, when these cool down they are so great with green onions, red onions, celery and mayo....oh man)....I've seen andouille and artichokes but that doesn't wow me.

Nothing like a crawfish boil, unless it's a cochon de lay or a shrimp boil....I like my crabs already picked.....big pot of crawfish bisque.....
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post #18 of 51
Speaking of crawfish boils. . I had a neighbor from louisiana some time ago. He held an annual crawfish boil in his backyard. People would kill to be a guest there, it was that good.

I always wanted to know, when's the best time to order crawfish? I live in California, so the shipping and freshness thingy worries me a little.
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
They are the fatist in Early spring. Them suckers ship pretty good as long as they are not sitting in some warehouse for days. If you get them be shur to perge them several times in fresh water, they don't call em mudbugs for nothin! I have thought several times about doing a boil here but if you do not know hot to eat em proper it is a waste of $. It took me a few 10 pounds sacks to get it right, lol. We had an awesome boiling house on the west bank called Tony's they were on Manhatan street. In season they were .99 a pound, cooked, seasoned and steamin, I spent many an evenin sittin on the levy with a 10 pound sack and some frostys!
The potato salad is awesome, an old cajun use to make it at my place and he put Mayo, Zatarans, Creole Mustard, Tony Chacaries and about 80, 000 tons of fine diced scallion greens in it, and he would put the potato salad in his seafood gumbo (lots of the other old timers would do the same thing, they said thats how they ate in in the country.
When I eat shrimp I eat the whole thing shell and all (even the head if they are not to big) I always thought most of the flavor was in the shell, and it beats peelin em!
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post #20 of 51
Chef Paul had potato salad in his gumbo. Country eatin' is the BEST!!!

Kevin you have crawfish festivals in Sacramento area....you can get crawfish in CA.....

I purge my crawfish with salt water in a clean trashcan.

It's so funny seeing #1 servings in restaurants.....northerners just don't get boiled crawfish portions, in Southern La. you start with 3-4# pp most can eat 7-10 pounds. So, the question of the day is do you crush the heads to eat the fat or just suck um? It's fun to watch cajuns eat crawfish, they've got it down to NO wasted moves....they can eat 5 and suck the fat faster than most can eat 1.
Most will show you how to peel um, but if you even scrunch up your nose just alittle they say, OK good more for me!
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post #21 of 51
Thread Starter 
I crush em and make sure I get all the good stuff. I ordered crawfish one time up here, they did not know how to cook them and they were bland and just spicy, no flavor. I am probably going to break down this year and do a boil at our new house this spring. I will probably just do 25 or 30 pounds and a bunch of other stuff (mostly cajun, and BBQ). I throw a prety good fee Dodo Chere'! Nobody leaves hungry and most leave wit some groceries!
We have A company in Philly (canullies (sp) house of pork, god I just love saying that name!), who will bone a whole suckling and cook it and you get it whole and ready to go. When I first moved up here you could bring in your own seasoning and dressing and they would use it, Now they do not allow that, but perhaps with a bit of persuasion......................
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post #22 of 51
have an annual bug boil and gumbo gatherin for my sons class and parents. Last year 83 people. Maybe 15-25 native cajuns. When we first started I would have to prepare two styles, the mild, and of course what I call turbo for the rest.
I believe last year(which wasn't our best year for bugs, little long and skinny) I believe we went through9-10 bags @ 35-40lbs each.
All sorts of sausage brought up from LA handled by one dad. The gumbo cooked outside on the racks in heavy pots vs the boil pots. Mrs. Bourgouis
will do those the day before.
I made a screen that is fitted to the bottom of our spa attached to our pool.
We purge the bugs in there. It's a hoot!!! The kids go crazy and of course there are games and prizes given for the longest hold of someones leg or arm down in the spa and by late nite there is always some adults head in there. Much beer, wine (catholics) and homemade rootbeer--annual class project for the 5th graders(the starting year of my sons school) last yr was 4th. bash.
gosh it's coming soon.
am I going to have any problems getting bugs?
I just had to add that you really have to add as much seasoning ofter boiling or they aint worth eatin.

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post #23 of 51
Panini, purging in the pool? and when I thought I'd heard it all!!!! out comes and at the end of the night adults stick their heads in....so that's Texas entertainment? You guys got red ants too?

If I got it, liquid boil goes in along with the bags. Salt is the key both to purging and spicing the boil....that and well copious quantities of beer.

Schnexsneiders sausages are awesome, I pulled out some of their andouille to make gumbo today. Found a # of frozen crawfish tails and will come up with some spicy creamy pasta thing too....or maybe dig through and find a crawfish pie recipe. It's 50+ degrees out and life is good!!!
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post #24 of 51
wait,wait,wait.
Shroom, I want to make sure we're on the same page. When I say purge, I'm talkin about puttin those little critters in water so that they can take a bath and swallow some clean water to get out most of the sand and mud, Right!
I thinking you are picturing me cookin mudbugs in my hot tub:eek: :eek:
Those 300 lbs of critters will fill up the spa. They are lively and fully ready to clamp on to anythig stuck inside the water. We usually hav 4-6 30gal.pots goin at all times. Throw in the spuds,some corn, almost 2 qts. of my special dry seasoning,citrus let er roll for a while and then we just get the hand pool leaf skimmer and plunge in the bugs and scope em up and into the boil. Lift the basket out pour an 1/8 onto a sheet pan, sprinkle with seasoning and repeatr till empty.
This is not an afternoon party. It gets rollin in the AM and there are still people milling about at sunrise. All the older children spend the night and a few parents. I'm very fortunite to live in a culdsac, my backyard and pool are right on the 5th hole of a golfcourse, so since the neighbors are invited and there is nothing but fairway in 2 directions , there is never any problem.
The grand prize gameboy last year was won by a 6 year old girl who actually seemed to like the idea of all the bugs pinching and hanging onto her arms and fingers. I believe her arm was in for maybe 2 min. and had about 15 hangers-oners when she lifted out.:suprise: :suprise:

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post #25 of 51
no no it was small children and adults dangling body parts in crawfish infested waters that amazed me......hot tubs generally don't get up to 212*.....and getting the scummy seasoning ring off would be a total bear. I was following along......

Any boil or roast in Southern Louisiana is an all day deal....that's what makes the south special.
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post #26 of 51
Crawfish gumbo today.....kinda of a default, I had fish stock but no chicken stock!!! So made a roux with oil and flour took it to almost black, added thyme, cayene, chipotle (not used alot in NO but I like it's smokiness), salt, pepper, bay leaf.....celery, garlic, red bell pepper (green are not my favs, switched over 6 years ago to colored and never looked back), onion....added to the roux and cooked until wilted. Added the stock and whisked. Added andouille cooked for 10+ minutes.....added crawfish that had been frozen, cooked about 5 minutes at a simmer don't want to overcook the crawfish.
green onions, parsley and a hit of tobasco (actually Crystal hotsauce)

This could have easily turned into bisque if I'd had fresh crawfish with their head sections.
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post #27 of 51
shroomgirl,
I knew you knew all about purgin and such.
Not much of a mess though, I'm able to seperate the spa water from the pool at the heater. Sunday, a small amount of clorine, run for 1/2 hr and drain it right out to the street. I'm runnin salt for filtering anyway.

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post #28 of 51
What a creative guy you are!!! Who woulda thunk having them in the hot tub? So, do you race um too?
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post #29 of 51
ok, I'm now going to have my wife dig out some pictures.
The children love to take turns guarding the bugs. The bugs will climb each others backs till they make a ramp and escape. My neighbor has created these rings and we install those and there is a rope drawn tight over the spa. They'll try to tightrope across.We do have spotters though, I didn't want any law suits if one actually went in.The little ones are in histerics when some jump over into the pool where the big kids are playing volleyball. By night the 'men are seperated from the boys'. You WILL get bit playing volleyball, and of course I will turn out the in-pool lites to make it interesting:D We have one other party for school at holloween. Just the kids, dance, etc. We died the pool red this year and threw couple of hundred pounds of dry ice in. Had a few coffins floating around. My son wants to die the water for the bugfest and actually put a bunch of bugs in and watch the volleyballers. NOT ME:suprise: toes and legs are one thing but:eek:
BTW no bugs are harmed unless eaten. They all go to the pond on the course the next day. My wife says there should be enough there if we want to catch em.
There really is not that much to do here, you're right;)

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post #30 of 51

Clam Chowder

I really love Clam Chowder. When I make it I have tried putting the chopped/ or minced clams in first and cooking it along with everything and the clams are tough. I have tried adding them last and the clams are tough. What the heck am I doing wrong? I go to Red Lobster and the clams are tender.
Help me understand what I should do to get tender clams.
Cinabun
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