Shucking and More….
Posted March 16, 2009on:
Today was shellfish day at school. I was excited since I’ve never worked with these creatures before although I have heartily devoured them. I was shocked to hear that there was one person in my class who HATES all fish and shellfish. When we asked him what he’s tried, he said he never tried it, but just never liked it. Another student told him he should at least try everything, even starfish assholes!
First, we prepared a white mirepoix and started making a shellfish stock using shrimp shells. Then using the stock, we made a shellfish soup. We spent a considerable amount of time just working on our soups, skimming the surface and tasting to ensure everything was fine.
Then we got to the shellfish fabrication. The first thing we prepared were lobsters. The lobsters were live. Apparently, they have to be live in order to ensure freshness and to get the best meat. Well, we were all taught how to slaughter the poor things in a “humane” way by piercing the brain with our knives. My poor lobster was squirmy, but I apologized and then proceeded to slaughter him as quickly as possible. Then we separated the head from the tail and removed the claws and crawlers. We also had to remove the gills from the head area and slit the tail in half to remove the intestinal tract.
After that, things were much simpler for a while since we just scrubbed some clams and mussles (not forgetting to take off their beards), deveined and shelled some shrimp and fabricated some squid. The squid were messy but not too bad. The next challenging bit was shucking the oysters. Oysters are TIGHT and strangley shaped! I never worked with them before and I’ve only eaten them once raw. I’m not a fan of eating them raw, so I passed them on to some classmates.
I was happy to come home with some nice hearty seafood soup! I was also glad to come home with a small medley of seafood ready to use! Unlike that one student in my class, I do enjoy seafood, but I don’t enjoy killing my own. I hope I don’t have to do that too often.
Anyone have any ideas for how to best use a small mixture of seafood consisting of 1 lobster tail, 4 clams & mussels and 4 shrimp??