MUSSEL KEBABS TURKISH STYLE

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Some of the best cuisine in the world started out as street food. Quick to make (and enjoy), dishes from Japanese sushi to Mexican Tacos have satisfied hungry diners walking by. 

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In Turkey, midday strollers have stopped and savored for centuries a unique mussel kebab, fried crisp on a stick (no fork or knife required) and dipped in a perfect sauce of yogurt and garlic. 

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They are perfect for a creative buffet when guests are looking to enjoy a unique but memorable menu from July 4th to New Year’s Day when Taylor Mediterranean Mussels are at their best.

Mussel Kebabs Turkish Style

Ingredients

  • ¾  cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup crumbled white bread (crust removed)
  • 6 walnut halves (crushed)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 36-40 Taylor Mediterranean Mussel meats (shelled and cleaned)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup club soda        
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Oil for frying
  • ½  tsp. salt
  • 3 ½  tsp. baking soda
  • 4 ¼ cups water
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Directions

  1. Prepare the dipping sauce by combing the yogurt, bread crumbs, crushed walnuts, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a chopper or food processor. 
  2. Set the sauce aside to set.
  3. Debeard the mussels.
  4. Cook the mussels in steaming water. 
  5. Remove mussels from their shells. 
  6. Rinse meats under very cold water. 
  7. Pat mussel meats dry with paper towels.
  8. Dip each mussel in flour and shake off the excess.
  9. Put three floured mussels on each bamboo skewer, leaving space at one end for holding.
  10. In a deep skillet or saucepan add the oil and heat it for frying.
  11. Whisk together the club soda, flour, salt and egg yolk until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  12. When it thickens to resemble the consistency of cake batter, stop whisking and set it aside.
  13. In aseparate bowl, stir together the water and baking soda until well combined. 
  14. Set it aside.
  15. Dip the mussels on each skewer in the batter and turn it until all the mussels are well covered.
  16. After the batter, immediately dip the mussels in the baking soda and water mixture. 
  17. Put mussel skewer in the hot oil to fry.
  18. Turn the mussels on the skewer as they cook with tongs so they brown evenly on all sides.
  19. Put a few hot skewers on a plate with a dollop of sauce for dipping. 
  20. Guests can also spread some sauce between the crusts of a hunk of hardy Turkish bread.
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SEAWEED MUSSEL SOUP

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Seaweed is used extensively in coastal cuisines around the world. Seaweed has been an important part of diets in China, Japan, and Korea since prehistoric times. 

Seaweed is also consumed in many traditional European societies, in Iceland and western Norway, the Atlantic coast of France, northern and western Ireland, and Wales as well as Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Interestingly most edible seaweeds are marine algae, whereas most freshwater algae are highly toxic.

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Seaweed has been been an important food, fuel, and fertilizer since ancient times. In Japan, seaweed was such a crucial part of the diet that laws passed in 703 AD the Japanese to pay their taxes to the Emperor in seaweed. 

Women have always played a pivotal role in transforming kelp from wild to farmed food. Basic seaweed cultivation techniques began to be developed in Japan beginning in the mid-seventeenth century. 

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But, despite becoming a staple food of the Japanese, the basic biology of edible seaweed species remained almost completely unknown until two centuries later, when another woman, the pioneering British scientist Kathleen Drew-Baker saved Japan’s nori farming industry.

In 1948, a series of typhoons combined with increased pollution in coastal waters led to a complete collapse in Japanese nori seaweed production. Because almost nothing was known about its life cycle at that time, no one could figure out how to grow new plants from scratch and repopulate the destroyed beds. The country’s nori industry ground to a halt, and many farmers lost their livelihoods.

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Back in England, Dr. Kathleen Drew-Baker was studying laver, the Welsh equivalent to the Japanese nori. In 1949, she published a paper in Nature outlining her discovery that a tiny algae known as Conchocelis was actually a baby nori or laver, rather than an entirely separate species, as had previously been thought. 

Based on her research, Japanese scientists quickly developed methods to artificially seed these tiny spores onto strings. Soon they were able to rebuild the entire nori industry along these lines under which it still operates today.

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Although she’s almost unknown in Great Britain, Dr. Drew-Baker is known as the "Mother of the Sea" in Japan. On April14 each year a special “Drew” festival is still held in her honor in Osaka.

You can enjoy the wonders of seafood all year long and honor the “Mother of the Sea”, especially with a soup made with nori seaweed and fantastic Taylor mussels.

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Seaweed Mussel Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried miyeok seaweed (20 grams), soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 2 lbs fresh Taylor Mediterranean Mussels, debearded, rinsed, and drained.
  • 5 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 to 3 tsps sesame oil
  • 4 -5 green onions, chopped
  • Salt
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Directions

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and 4 cups cold water in a bowl to make a salty brine. 
  2. Add the mussels and soak them for 30 minutes. 
  3. Drain and rinse in cold water. 
  4. Drain again.
  5. Drain the miyeok and rinse and drain a few times. 
  6. Squeeze out excess water and cut into bite sized pieces.
  7. Add the miyeok and 8 cups of water to a large heavy pot. 
  8. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the miyeok turns soft and the water is infused with its flavor.
  9. Add the mussels, garlic, and fish sauce. 
  10. Stir a few times. 
  11. Cover and cook about 15 minutes over medium high heat. 
  12. When the mussels open up and the broth is infused with their flavor, remove from the heat.
  13. Drizzle 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil over top.
  14. Ladle the soup into serving bowls.
  15. Sprinkle some green onion over top.
  16. Serve immediately over rice with kimchi.
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MUSSEL FRITTERS PAST AND PRESENT

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The word “fritter” can mean any kind of fried batter concoction, but it specifically refers to fruit, vegetable, meat or seafood that is battered and fried in oil. 

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A favorite of George Washington as well as hungry Civil War soldiers, mussel fritters are truly part of America’s culinary history.

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Yet the word “fritter” comes not from early colonial English but from ancient Latin. It is derived from the Latin frictura, meaning "a piece of fried food.” Frictura, in turn, comes from the Latin verb frigere, which meant "to fry" or "to roast.”

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But don’t let its ancient origin dissuade you from sharing it with contemporary diners. Both crisp and savory, it’s an American classic well worth rediscovering and you don’t even have to go to Rome!

Mussel Fritters

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked mussel meat, finely chopped from 5 lbs Taylor Mediterranean Mussels
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 cup  soft green herbs – parsley, coriander, basil or a combination of all.
  • 2 small-medium eggs
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil/butter for frying
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Directions

  1. Debeard the mussels.
  2. Steam mussels in hot water until open.
  3. Remove mussels from shells.
  4. Discard shells.
  5. Finely chop the mussel meat.
  6. Add the finely chopped onion, sweet chilli sauce, finely chopped herbs, eggs, flour and 
  7.     salt and pepper. 
  8. Mix together until well combined. 
  9. Heat oil and butter in a frypan. 
  10. Fry flattened heaped tablespoonfuls for approximately 4 minutes each side until well browned. 
  11. Serve while warm.
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BILLI BI SOUP DC STYLE WITH THANKS TO THE FAMED JOCKEY CLUB

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Washington DC has always had its power restaurants where the influential, rich and powerful dine. No restaurant has a better claim to that title The Jockey Club, sadly now closed.

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Situated in the elegant Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row, The Jockey Club restaurant opened in 1961. It was created by Louise Gore, daughter of the owner, Grady Gore, and modeled on the continental restaurants she had come to know after living in Paris while working for UNESCO.

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She named the restaurant after a private club in London and a restaurant in Madrid that both had the name. Within a year, Holiday Magazine had called The Jockey Club Washington's first truly elegant restaurant.

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The restaurant remained one of the city's most famous watering holes for the rich and politically powerful for decades. The restaurant was popular with members of the Kennedy family, Nancy Reagan, Eugene McCarthy, Bob Dole and Jack Kemp and celebrities including Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty.

The rich, the famous, the infamous, the outspoken and the tight-lipped — all found a haven that remained virtually unchanged and unchallenged for four decades. Big deals and interesting secrets were whispered while guests enjoyed the restaurant’s unique version of the world’s greatest soup - Billi Bi Froid, served cold instead of warm.

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But after four decades of fame (and sometimes political infamy), something was afoot.

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To the shock of everyone, The Jockey Club closed in 2001 and was replaced by a restaurant named Cabo. It was revived in its original space in 2008, after an absence of seven years. Sadly it did not prove financially successful and finally closed for the last time in 2011. 

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Memories of the restaurant live on in treasured recipes that captured not only the flavor of this famous and oh so popular dish, but also an era when Washington’s powerful made deals and worked out successful compromises all over lunch and cocktails.

Billi Bi Froid

(Served Cold)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry wine
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper, finely ground
  • 2 1/2 lbs Taylor Mussels, debarred
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • Worcestershire Sauce
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Directions

  1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in flour.
  4. Return to low heat.
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until roux is light brown - about 8 minutes.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Combine shallots, wine, parsley, remaining butter and white pepper in saucepan.
  8. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  9. Add mussels.
  10. Cover and cook until mussels open.
  11. Transfer mussels to bowl using slotted spoon, reserving remaining liquid.
  12. Cover mussels and refrigerate.
  13. Return liquid to stove and heat.
  14. Reduce to 2 cups.
  15. Blend in 1 tsp prepared roux.
  16. Reduce heat to medium low.
  17. Add cream.
  18. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  19. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  20. Strain soup.
  21. Cover and refrigerate.
  22. Just before serving, transfer mussels to individual soup bowls.
  23. Taste soup and add Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  24. Ladle finished soup over mussels and serve.
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A NEW TREND IN OYSTER DINING

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Humanity has enjoyed oysters prepared in various ways down through the centuries. Initially, of course, oysters were eaten raw and many still consider this the ideal way to savor them - fresh and ice cold.

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Yet creative chefs have always sought to enhance oysters, eager to make something great even better.  In France chefs have long adored the briny oysters from Normandy’s rough coastline. To balance their natural sea salty, innovative chefs created a range of mignonette sauces.

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Classically defined a mignonette sauce is a condiment made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar. The name “mignonette” originally meant a sachet of peppercorns, cloves, and spices traditionally used to flavor liquids, but now it simply means cracked pepper. Though different mignonette sauces may use different types of vinegar, all contain pepper and shallots. 

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But the creativity doesn’t stop there. Chefs have fired, poached, sautéed, marinated, barbecued oysters, even served them toped with molecular foam.

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Now a new trend has emerged - composed oysters. This delightful trend offers diners fresh oysters topped with or ‘composed’ using a creative blend of diverse fresh ingredients. 

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Composition ingredients can range from watermelon to a quail’s egg yolk. Key to the success of the dish is a complimentary contrast of both flavors and texture. An attractive color palette is also vital to the dish. Any liquid present is a unique blend of the oyster’s natural juices with those from the added ingredients.

Possible Composition Pairings with Taylor Oysters

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GOOD AS GOLD CLAM CHOWDER

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America has always been fortunate to have Canada as our northern neighbor. There is no finer example of that than the story of Sam Steele, the Chilkoot Pass and Good as Gold Clam Chowder.

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Sam Steele was a skilled military professional who dedicated his life to serving Canada. As an early member of the Royal Mounted Canadian Police (RMCP), he directed the entry of over 100, 000 Americans into Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush.

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To reach the gold fields, would-be prospectors had to ascend the treacherous Chilkoot Pass. This twenty-six mile trail over the soaring mountains was steep and very hazardous. 

There gold seekers struggled through blizzards, snow, frigid temperatures, and avalanches in winter, and rain, fog, boulders, and melting bogs in the summer. The trail shot up about 1,000 feet in the final half mile. Climbers called this last part the "golden staircase," with over 1,500 steps cut in the high mountain snow and ice, and only a single guide rope for support. 

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In order to survive in Canada, Mountie Sam Steele required each climber to have 2,000 lbs. of vital supplies gathered at the top of the Pass before they could enter Canada and head safely for the waiting gold fields. For many miners this meant as many as 40 trips up and down the treacherous 33 mile long trail.

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Steele’s no-exceptions-allowed policy saved countless lives and actively thwarted the plans of easy going speculators and conmen. As a result, Steele and his fellow officers made the Klondike Gold Rush one of the most orderly migrations of its kind in history and, in the process, made the Royal Canadian Mounted Police world famous.

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The vast amount of supplies sold to the prospectors (equal to $100,000,000 in modern dollars in Seattle alone) also helped establish such legendary companies as Nordstrom, which opened as boot supplier ,and Bartell's, which sold generic medicinal supplies.

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It is also interesting to note that among the many supplies carried over the Pass were cans of evaporated milk and minced clams. Considered a worthy reward for completing the final climb, hot clam chowder was a true luxury treat at the top of the Chilkoot Pass Trail.

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Thankfully today no one has to climb mountains to enjoy a savory bowl of clam chowder. A favorite of diners and so easy to create, chowder is considered by many chefs a perfect menu item. And why not, for over 100 years it has been considered by many, from miners to Mounties to be “as good as gold.”

Good as Gold Clam Chowder

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb Taylor Manila Clams, steamed & meat removed with juice reserved
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

  1. Steam Clams.
  2. Remove meat from clams and reserve with any juice.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, celery and onion. 
  4. Saute for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the flour.
  6. Stir well to make a dry roux. 
  7. Add the reserved clam juice to make a paste.
  8. Slowly add enough cold water to reach the desired thickness.
  9. Add the potatoes, milk, thyme and salt and pepper. 
  10. Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. 
  11. Add the clam meats.
  12. Allow to heat through and serve.
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THE ALWAYS GREAT OYSTER CASSEROLE

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It’s time for that old standby tuna casserole to move over and make way for another Northwest favorite - Oyster Casserole. Though regional cousins (both hail from the Pacific Northwest) they are very different in more than one way.

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When the first tuna casserole recipes began appearing nationally in the mid 1930’s they contained the now familiar ingredients of canned tuna fish, canned mushroom soup, and corn flakes. Oyster casseroles have always called for fresher ingredients.

So why are tuna casseroles better known nationally then casseroles made with fresh oysters?

Tuna casseroles may in part owe their popularity to two factors - James Beard and transportation.

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James Beard grew up in the Pacific Northwest before rising to national fame as the leading food writer at the New York Times. As early as 1913 cooks from Portland to Seattle had mixed canned tuna with a white sauce (an earlier version of cream of mushroom soup) and topped their creation with either bread crumbs or crushed potato chips.

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No doubt James Beard knew about this regional favorite because in his 1955 Casserole Cookbook he included a recipe for a tuna casserole. As a result, the fame of tuna casseroles went national, especially in the Midwest where sea-fresh ingredients were then hard to obtain.

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Today coast-to-coast delivery of premium, fresh seafood is no longer a problem. Taylor Shellfish Farms can easily supply chefs with premier shellfish through their local wholesale vender or via direct delivery if needed.

As a result, Oyster Casseroles are growing in popularity with diners, especially when the flare of ingredients like chanterelles and wine are added to a savory made-from-scratch white sauce.

Oyster Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 3/4 pounds small chanterelle mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp of chopped chives 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 pints Taylor Shucked Oysters (Reserve enough oyster liquor to make a full cup of liquid) 
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup of Sauvignon Blanc Wine
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs
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Directions

  1. Lightly butter a deep medium-size casserole dish.
  2. Preheat broiler to 500° F. 
  3. In a big skillet, melt four tablespoons of the butter. 
  4. Add onion and bell pepper.
  5. Cook until they get soft, about 5 to 6 minutes on medium-high. 
  6. Add mushrooms and chives.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cook approximately 9 minutes until golden brown and most of liquid has cooked out.
  9. In a Dutch oven, melt remaining ½ cup butter. 
  10. On low heat, whisk in flour, and cook for a minute. 
  11. Whisk in the cream and oyster liquor. 
  12. Simmer, stirring often. 
  13. Keep stirring for 5 minutes until this stuff is smooth and thick. 
  14. Add two tablespoons of the cheese. 
  15. Add in all the wine.
  16. Season again with salt and pepper. 
  17. Cook two minutes more, whisking constantly. 
  18. Fold in oysters.
  19. Cook 3 more minutes. 
  20. Fold in mushroom mixture.
  21. Pour into buttered medium-size casserole dish.
  22. Combine remaining cheese and melted butter with enough breadcrumbs to cover.
  23. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top of the casserole. 
  24. Bake under broiler 8 to 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.
  25. Cool slightly before serving.
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GREEN SPANISH CLAM SOUP

With the vast majority of their borders facing the sea, it's not surprising that Spanish cuisine has created some of the finest shellfish dishes in the world. Many of those outstanding dishes came to America with immigrants from Spain during the last hundred years.

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Many of the immigrants from Spain since the 1880’s have settled on the West Coast and in the coastal Gulf states, thereby adding their culinary traditions to America’s always expanding heritage of diversity. 

One beloved Spanish dish that successfully made the transatlantic culinary journey is Green Spanish Clam Soup, savory enough to be served hot or cold.  It is a true delight and perfect for summer days at either cool mountain retreats or on sunny beach picnics. 

What can we say but enjoy and, “Thank you Spain!”

Green Spanish Clam Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium or 2 small leeks, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cupschicken broth 
  • 1 lb Taylor Manila Clams, rinsed
  • Salt, if desired
  • White pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. 
  2. Stir in onion and leek. 
  3. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. 
  4. Stir in garlic, parsley and cilantro. 
  5. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  6. Add bread crumbs, and stir frequently until coated and light golden brown. 
  7. Stir in wine. 
  8. Let wine evaporate, then add broth.
  9. Stir in clams.
  10. Heat to boiling. 
  11. Reduce heat to medium. 
  12. Cover. 
  13. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until clams fully open. 
  14. Stir in salt and pepper.

PORTUGUESE CLAM CHOWDER JAPANESE STYLE

One of the delights of American cuisine is its amazing diversity. For over 200 years individuals from all over the world have journeyed to America and added their culinary traditions to the heritage of the American palate.

Often, over time, two very different streams of cuisine will meet and merge, creating uniquely American dishes. One such resulting dish is Portuguese Clam Chowder Japanese Style. 

In the late 1890s Japanese American farmers sold Mitsuba, known as Japanese wild parsley, in San Francisco open air food markets. Portuguese Americans sold fresh clams there as well. Before long Bay Area chefs were combiningthe two to create a new hybrid dish - Portuguese Clam Chowder Japanese Style.

Learning More About Japanese Mitsuba

Little known, Japanese Mitsuba has a very distinct appearance, a characteristic fragrance and is actually a member of the carrot familly, Apiaceae-Umbelliferae. As a result, its subtle flavor is reminiscent of a blend of celery leaves, Italian parsley and angelica. 

Some say it offers a hint of clove and has somewhat the sharpness of sorrel, in short a perfect match with fresh clams. Though known as Japanese Wild Parsley, it has been grown commercially for over a century in Japan and then in America. As a result, it is available in Asian markets year round.

Mitsuba, fresh or cooked, can also be added to salads, seafood casseroles, stir fries and sashimi. Mitsuba turns bitter when cooked more than a few minutes, so handle it very gently to preserve its special flavor. 

When Japanese Mitsuba is blended with fresh clams, so loved by the Portuguese, the result is a unique chowder, as special as America and truly reflective of our nation’s wonderfully diverse cuisine. 

Portuguese Clam Chowder Japanese Style

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 lbs Taylor Clams
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch matchsticks 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup shiitake Mushrooms, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced 
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme 
  • 2 bay leaves, whole 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white miso paste 
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half 
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 cup fresh Mitsuba, Japanese parsley leaves 
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil 

Directions

  1. In a soup pot, bring the wine and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. 
  2. Add the clams, cover and cook over high heat until the clams open, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl. 
  4. Remove the clams from their shells.
  5. Coarsely chop clams. 
  6. Strain the broth.
  7. Separately cook bacon in butter over moderately high heat until the bacon is crisp. 
  8. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, thyme and bay leaves.
  9. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. 
  10. Stir in the miso paste. 
  11. Gradually add the reserved clam broth. 
  12. Add the cream and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a simmer. 
  13. Add the potato cubes.
  14. Season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  15. Simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  16. In a blender, combine the parsley with 1/4 cup of water and puree until finely chopped. 
  17. Add the oil, and puree until smooth. 
  18. Season with salt.
  19. Puree a few of the potatoes and add to soup as thickening agent. 
  20. Add the reserved clams and simmer just until heated through. 
  21. Discard the bay leaves. 
  22. Portion into serving bowls.
  23. Drizzle with blended Mitsuba parsley oil.

WHY QUALITY SOURCING MATTERS

As every chef knows the best results can only be achieved when one starts with the best ingredients. In a world full of vendors, it’s vital to know what makes one’s suppliers unique from the mustard on the shelf to the fresh shellfish in the walk-in.

Just consider, for example, Dijon Mustard. What exactly is Dijon Mustard and why is it special? 

What Makes Dijon Mustard Unique?

French Dijon mustard is different from other mustards. It is based on a combination of “Verjus" and ground brown mustard seeds along with salt and other spices. The resulting mustard is a pale yellow color and has slightly creamy consistency. 

Since most other mustards are made with vinegar, the next question might be “What is Verjus?” Verjus is created from fresh grape juice, while vinegar is made traditionally from fermented fruit. Versus is acidic but less harsh, much like orange juice is less acidic than vinegar.  As a result, mustard made using Verjus doesn't compete with the other ingredients being used in a dish. Instead it compliments.

Why the word “Dijon” is Important? 

Mustard seeds and white grapes both grew well and in abundance in Dijon, France. Back in 1752 Jean Naigeon revolutionized the centuries-old mustard recipe by substituting verjus (the sour juice of unripe grapes) for the vinegar traditionally used in the making of mustard. 

This resulted in a smoother, less acerbic mustard which was immediately embraced by mustard lovers everywhere.

In 1777 another moutardier (the name for a French mustard maker) Maurice Grey, teamed up with Auguste Poupon and together they formed the Grey Poupon Mustard Company. It was Maurice Grey who invented a machine that would grind the mustard, automating the process and replacing the traditional grinding of mustard seeds by hand.

Knowing Your Shellfish Source Is Just as Important

Taylor Shellfish Farms has been supplying leading chefs quality shellfish for over 125 years. As a family owned business, they are dedicated to both providing the highest quality shellfish as well as supporting true sustainability to both local communities and the environment.

As a result, Taylor is the only the only shellfish company to be certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the leading international third-party certifier of responsibly farmed seafood. Simply put, Taylor products are a must for any chef seeking to obtain top quality while working to protect the health of the planet. 

Why not put two such great products, mustard and shellfish, together and share the memorable result with guests in…

Mussels Dijonnaise

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 lbs Taylor Mussels, washed and beards removed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan until melted. 
  2. Add the onions, shallots and garlic, and cook briefly, until wilted.Do not brown.
  3. Add the mussels, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, white wine, and cream.
  4. Cover closely and bring to a boil. 
  5. Cook, shaking gently to redistribute the mussels. 
  6. Cook until all the mussels are opened.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a serving bowl. Keep warm.
  8. Continue cooking the sauce for a minute, remove bay leaf and the thyme.
  9. Stir in the mustard with a wire whisk while heating. Do not boil.
  10. Season sauce to taste with salt if necessary.
  11. Spoon equal portions of it over the mussels.
  12. Sprinkle with parsley. 
  13. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

BE ITALIAN WITH CLAMS BRODETTO

For decades many Americans thought of Italian food as primarily being dishes composed of spaghetti and meat balls topped with red tomato sauce. 

Thankfully today Americans are far more aware of the stunning diversity of Italian cuisine, especially fish and shellfish.  And why not - with health and sustainability on the diner’s mind, Italy’s massive coastline has prompted endless dishes centered on ingredients from the sea.

One such classic dish is brodetto, similar in some ways to a French bouillabaisse but with a lighter broth. It can be prepared with both fish and shellfish or in its simplest form just clams. Either way, it’s a great way to “Be Italian” for a day.

Clams Brodetto

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 Garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 4 Scallions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 4 lbs Taylor Clams
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Chives
  • 1/2 cup fresh Oregano leaves
  • Sliced Garlic Bread
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Directions

  1. Heat a few tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add red onion and cook one minute. 
  3. Add sliced garlic, scallions and salt, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook until scallions and garlic color slightly, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add clams, tomato puree, wine and pepper flakes. 
  6. Bring to a boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until clams open. 
  8. Uncover pan and add herbs. 
  9. Divide clams evenly into serving bowls.
  10. Spoon broth over them. 
  11. Serve each with toast.

HOW TO STAY COOL THIS SUMMER WITH OYSTER ICES

Every chef feels the heat that comes from prepping for graduation events to wedding celebrations. One classic way to beat the heat, ease staff fatigue and still delight the waiting guest is to serve cool savory ices with fresh Taylor Oysters, opened and ready. 

Oyster Ices

Ingredients

Tabasco Ice:

  • 1/4 cup Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Simple Syrup

Horseradish Ice:

  • 1/4cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup

Pickled Red Onion Ice:

  • 1/2 medium red onion (1 cup sliced)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Simple Syrup

Directions

Tabasco Ice:

  • Pour Tabasco, simple syrup, and 1/2 cup water into a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into a 2 cup container and freeze overnight. 
  • A shallow container will flake more easily. 
  • Once frozen, flake with a fork and serve alongside raw oysters. 

Horseradish Ice:

  • Place horseradish, vinegar, simple syrup, and 1/2 cup water into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Strain liquid into a 2 cup container and freeze overnight. 
  • A shallow container will flake more easily. 
  • Once frozen, flake with a fork and serve alongside raw oysters. 

Pickled Red Onion Ice:

  • Peel, halve, and very thinly slice red onion. 
  • Place in a 1 quart heat-proof container. 
  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine vinegar, sugar and 1 cup water. 
  • Bring to boil, stir to dissolve sugar, and pour over onion slices. 
  • Let stand at room temp until cool. 
  • Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 10 minutes. 
  • Strain liquid into a 2 cup container and freeze overnight. 
  • A shallow container will flake more easily. 
  • Reserve pickled red onion for another use. 
  • Once frozen, flake with a fork and serve alongside raw oysters

NORTHWEST CLAM CHILI

While it is easy to think of chili as a single dish made up of beef and beans, there are in fact as many variations to this truly American dish as there are states and cities in the US.

Just consider for a moment some of America’s classic chilis: Texas’ original chili made famous the lovely Chili Queens of San Antonio, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Chili, Cincinnati’s beloved Pasta Chili and San Francisco’s Five Alarm Firemen’s Chili.

Out in the great Northwest seafood lovers favor White Clam Chili, a unique chili that reflects the rich flavors of this amazing region. The tidal flow of cool Northwest waters produce a clam that’s ideal for this unique chili. Enjoy!

Northwest Clam Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 pints of fresh shucked Taylor Clams 
  • 1 lb mini red potatoes 
  • 2 cups diced green bell peppers 
  • 1 cup diced yellow bell peppers 
  • 2 cups diced onions 
  • 1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc Wine 
  • 2 15 oz cans of cannellini beans drained 
  • 1 15 oz can of black eyed peas drained 
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic 
  • 2 jalapeños peppers seeds removed and chopped 
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro 

Directions

  1. Chop fresh clams into soup-spoon size pieces. 
  2. Reserve the clam liquor. 
  3. Cook green and yellow peppers plus onions in a large soup pot. 
  4. Cook till onions are translucent. 
  5. Add white wine. 
  6. Cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Add all the clam juice and all other ingredients, except the clams. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. 
  8. Add clams and cook for 3-5 additional minutes.
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OYSTERS NORMANDE

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America is blessed with an astonishing range of cuisine, thanks in large part to talented chefs who have made America their home. From the French trained chefs of early New Orleans to Albert Stockli of New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant, America’s diverse cuisine has been enhanced by their creative presence.

One of their greatest gifts to American cuisine has been awareness of the five“Mother Sauces” and their many variations. One such sauce, named for the region of France it originated in, is Sauce Normande, an extension of a classic velour sauce. 

Given Normandy’s rugged coastline and love of seafood, it’s not surprising that this sauce easily compliments America’s outstanding shellfish as well and has been a favorite of leading American chefs for over a hundred years.

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This versatile sauce in its simplest form consists of oyster liquor, egg yolks, butter, and heavy cream. These ingredients are simmered together until the sauce thickens into a rich cream which can be poured over oysters which have been baked, broiled, grilled, or sauteed. 

The high fat content of the sauce also enhances the flavor of the dish, giving it a fuller mouthfeel, rich in umami. Cider or dry white wine may also be used as primary ingredients.

Simply said, it’s a must sauce for all who love fresh savory oysters.

OYSTERS NORMANDE

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Dash of Cayenne
  • 1 cup oyster liquor
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 dozen large Taylor Pacific Oysters, grilled 

Directions

  1. Melt butter over low heat.
  2. Add mushrooms and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add flour and cayenne. 
  4. Stir until well blended.  
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Gradually stir in oyster liquor and return to heat.  
  7. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thick and smooth.
  8. Set aside to cool
  9. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks slightly.
  10. Add cream and a little of the hot sauce.
  11. Stir slowly into cooled sauce.  
  12. Add wine or lemon juice.  
  13. Reheat over low heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly warm.  
  14. Season to taste.  
  15. Serve as topping on warm grilled Taylor Pacific Oysters.

Before Alice Waters There Was Mussels Polonaise

Farm-to-Table and Tide-to-Table cuisine has become an enduring trend in the Culinary Industry that insures both fresh flavor and sustainability to diners. Alice Waters is often credited with initiating this vital trend. Yet before her very important contribution, there was Albert Stockli and Mussels Polonaise.

Albert Stockli was the original chef at the famed Four Seasons Restaurant, a restaurant that the phrase “power lunch” was coined for by Esquire Magazine. Opened in 1959 (Alice Water’s Chez Pannise opened later in 1971) the restaurant welcomed guests ranging from Jackie Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer and Barbara Walters along with many other influential people and celebrities

(The Seagram Building, site of The Four Seasons Restaurant, and massive hallway mural by Picasso) 

Even though its elegant decor, designed by the architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, was designated an interior landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, it was Chef Stockli’s remarkable cuisine that captured the attention of its discerning guests.

Born in Switzerland, Stockli took over housekeeping as the oldest child after his mother's death when he was just nine years old. He learned more formal cooking from an uncle who was a chef in a leading Zurich hotel.

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He soon moved on to Antwerp, Rotterdam and Paris, always studying and learning.  He became, however, increasingly impatient with the rigid culinary view of the time that postulated there was only one way of preparing each classical dish.

Seeking a change of venue and a new approach, he shipped out on a Dutch vessel to the East Indies. There he became intrigued by the new spices and flavors. He was also fascinated by the quick-cooking method used in the Indies to preserve the rich flavors of local meats and vegetables.

During World War II he bravely served on the hastily built Liberty Ships, bringing aid and support to America’s European Allies struggling against Hitler. At the war’s end he found work as chef at the Claridge Hotel in New Jersey.

He soon joined Restaurant Associates which had received the concession to run the restaurant at the then new Arrivals Building at Newark Airport. The owners were looking for a more ambitious and imaginative culinary approach for their new restaurant. There he invented dishes that brought patronage from not only travelers but also from non-traveling diners.

His next move was to the Hawaiian Room in the Lexington Hotel in Manhattan, where the menu soon included dishes like “Flaming Snow Mountain—an Ice Mountain of Tropical Fruits to Dip in a Delicious Ruin Sauce—Afire!”

In 1959 he opened the elite Four Seasons in the new Seagram Building on Park Avenue. Stockli, a six‐footer with a commanding presence extended by his chef's toque blanche, his dining room was the first destination restaurant to print its menu entirely in English.

But Chef Stockli’s innovations went even further. His inventive dishes featured fresh neighborhood foods – he visited farms and dairies himself, and had a network of hunters and fishermen who would bring him game. As a result, his restaurant was the first restaurant in the States to incorporate wild mushrooms into their menu.

Chef Stockli died just one year after Alice Waters opened Chez Pannise in California, Thankfully he left a record of his favorite recipes in his one and only cookbook, Splendid Fare. Written while in semi-retirement (for what chef ever stops cooking and creating entirely?), it preserved for lucky readers his dedication to fine flavorful food prepared with the freshest locally farmed ingredients possible.

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One of his favorite dishes was Mussles Polonaise, literally shellfish prepared in the Polish style. Chef Stockli’s insightful cuisine reflected his belief in culinary diversity and absolute freshness - resulting in dishes always to be created with respect for the original source while still honoring innovation and quality.

Mussels Polonaise

(adapted from Splendid Fare)

The Elegant Jackie Kennedy at the Four Seasons

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs Taylor Mussels yielding 3 cups cooked Mussel Meat, Steamed until Done
  • 1 lb Cucumbers, peeled and slice in very thin discs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Lemon, juice of
  • 1/3 cup Heavy Cream 
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper 
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, hard-boiled, finely chopped or rubbed through a sieve

Directions

  1. Steam mussels until cooked.
  2. Remove meat from shells and refrigerate.
  3. Discard mussel shells.
  4. Slice the cucumber into paper thin discs.
  5. Place the sliced cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Allow cucumber slices to “sweat” for at least 1 hour.
  7. Squeeze all the moisture out of the cucumbers.
  8. Discard cucumber liquid.
  9. Return the cucumbers to bowl.
  10. Add lemon juice and heavy cream,
  11. In another bowl mix sour cream, oil, vinegar, chopped dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise.
  12. Pour mixture over cucumbers.
  13. Add the chilled mussels. 
  14. Chill entire mixture at least for 1 hour.
  15. Just before serving, plate and sprinkle finely chopped egg on top of the salad.

CELEBRATE SUMMER WITH SOMETHING TRULY AMERICAN - PICKLED OYSTERS

Why not celebrate the freedom of summer with something traditional and yet oh so hip: pickled oysters. 

Pickled foods have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 2030 BC. The word “pickle” came later from the Dutch pekel, meaning “salt” or “brine,” two very important components in the pickling process. 

Throughout history pickling was a necessity, as it was the best way to preserve food for a long period of time. As one of the earliest mobile foods, pickles filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and busy travelers.

All pickled foods are created by immersing them in an acidic liquid or saltwater brine until they are no longer considered raw or vulnerable to spoilage. 

American pickling was made easier and more sanitary during the 1850s, when two essential canning tools were invented here . First, a Scottish born chemist by the name of James Young created paraffin wax, which helped to create a seal for food preserved in jars. A few years later, John Mason developed and patented the first Mason jar. Mason’s jars were made from a heavyweight glass that was able to tolerate the high temperatures used in canning and processing pickles.

The pickles that were left to ferment for a few weeks turned bright green and were know then as “half sours” while pickles fermented for a longer period were called “full sours” and were a darker color green.

Today American pickles can be sweet, sour, salty, or hot and represent the broad culinary heritage of our nation. English immigrants prefer sweet pickles made with vinegar, sugar and spiced syrup. Individuals with a French heritage often enjoy tiny, spiced cornichons with rich pâtés and pungent cheeses. Russian Americans pickle their tomatoes while Japanese American enjoy pickled plums and daikon. Citizens with an Italian heritage often ask for pickled eggplants and peppers.

But best of all, yet little known, is an American classic enjoyed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and shhh - some of hottest chefs in the U.S.

All American Pickled Oysters

Ingredients

  •  12 Fresh Taylor Pacific Oysters
  • Gherkin Vinegar, 100 ml (reserved from jar)
  • 1/2 Shallot, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Green Jalapeño Chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 Gherkin Pickles, large and finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, finely chopped 
  • Light Olive Oill, 100 ml
  • Fresh Dill, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Shuck the oysters.
  2. Strain and save oyster liquid. 
  3. Wash and reserve bottom oyster shell
  4. Add the gherkin vinegar to the strained oyster juice.
  5. Add the shucked oysters.
  6. Refrigerate marinating mixture for 4 hours. 
  7. Add the shallot, garlic, chilli, gherkins, cucumber, and oil to oyster marinate.
  8. Stir mixture gently
  9. Replace oysters in the shell.
  10. Add marinate topping
  11. Garnish lightly dill.

OYSTERS CHURCHILL

No one would doubt Winston Churchill's place in history. Without his courage and determination, World War II and the fate of both England and Europe would have been quite different. 

And while many are familiar with his trademark "V for Victory" hand sign and ever present thick cigar, far fewer are familiar with his love of Oysters AND champagne.

As a young reporter, he traveled extensively and developed a taste for fine cuisine which, of course, included shellfish and a cooling glass of, as he called it, "the Bubbly”.

As London recovered from the damage of the War's nightly bombing, many a restaurant in the 1950's sought to thank the esteemed "Last Lion" for saving the Capital with special dishes named in his honor such as Oysters Churchill, a dish combining two of his favorite peacetime ingredients - Oysters and Champagne.

Oysters Churchill

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 2 cups spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup coarse breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 dozen fresh Taylor Pacific Oysters on half shell
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10cups kosher salt
  • Lemon wedges and/or parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat barbecue grill to medium.
  2. In a bowl combine champagne, spinach, onions, 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs, and parsley.
  3. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. 
  4. Add champagne-breadcrumb mixture. 
  5. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring until spinach is wilted. 
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Place oysters in the shell on a baking sheet. 
  9. Put 1 tablespoon of champagne-breadcrumb mixture on each oyster. 
  10. Sprinkle remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top of oysters.
  11. Place baking sheet on the barbecue grill. 
  12. Grill for about 5 minutes, with the lid closed, or until cheese is bubbling and is starting to brown.
  13. Cover the bottom of a shallow serving platter with a layer of kosher salt.
  14. Remove oysters from baking sheet. 
  15. Place oysters on the salted shallow serving platter. 
  16. Garnish with lemon wedges and/or parsley.

MUSSELS CAESAR STYLE

The mussel has been enjoyed since the stone age. The Roman emperors were especially fond of mussels as they grew near the elite resort centers of Pompeii and the recently discovered nearby seaside town of Baiae.

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If you are unfamiliar with Baiae don’t be surprised. It has been hidden under water until 1959 when Professor Lamboglia, the founder of the Center for Underwater Archaeology, found the major buildings. 

Julius Caesar had a villa there, and much of the town became imperial property under Augustus. With its large swimming pools and domed spa, it continued to be a favorite of the elite. Nero had a notable villa constructed in the middle of the 1st century and Hadrian died at his in 138 AD. In short, Baiae was the place to be - especially if you liked shellfish.

Mussels were so popular there they were written about in the only extant ancient Roman cookbook, De re coquinaria. It is attributed to Marcus Gavius Apicius.  

Apicius lived in the first century A.D. and was a very rich Roman. He was a famed gourmet in his own lifetime, yet killed himself when his fortune fell to the equivalent of a mere ten million dollars in modern currency. The thought that he couldn't afford the meals he was accustomed to anymore (think the Roman equivalents of caviar, truffles and Premier Grand Crû wine), was just too much and he poisoned himself.

Thankfully he left his favorite mussel recipe, complete with matching sauces, in De re coquinaria for us to enjoy.

Sadly there are no contemporary copies of De re coquinaria. The only copies that have survived the centuries are two ninth-century manuscripts, plus some slightly older fragments and excerpts. Never cooked from, it served only as an antique Latin text to practice translation from.

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In the fifteenth century, however, De re coquinaria was rediscovered as a cookbook. Italian humanists were curious about everything Roman, including what the Romans ate. The first printed edition of De re coquinaria dates from 1498. 

Today mussels are grown around the world, often on ropes similar to the method used in ancient Baiae. Many of the best come from the cool waters of the Pacific Northwest.  

A Modern Adaptation of Mussels Baiae

Ingredients

Main Mussels Dish

  • 4 lbs. Taylor Blue Mussels
  • 1 2/3 cup young leeks in small rings
  • 1/2 cup each of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup passum (substitute sweet wine)
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/4 cup liquamen
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 or 3 sprigs satureia (or 1 tsp. dried)

Lovage sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped lovage leafs
  • lots of freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. white wine
  • 1 tsp. liquamen (substitute Vietnamese nuoc-nam or Thai nam-pla)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Cumin Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. liquamen (substitute Vietnamese nuoc-nam or Thai nam-pla)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh lovage
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Make the Two Sauces in Advance
  2. Lovage sauce:
  3. Mix egg yolk with vinegar, pepper and honey as if preparing mayonnaise.
  4. Add the olive oil in a small trickle while whisking well. 
  5. When the sauce has the thickness of mayonnaise, stop adding oil.

Cumin sauce:

Mix all the ingredients together.

Mussel Preparation

  1. Wash and clean the mussels. 
  2. Put mussels in a large pan. 
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Add the mussels.
  5. Cook until the mussels are steamed open.

To Serve

  1. Place the cooking pan with the mussels on the table for a rustic meal. 

  2. Place the two sauces alongside the pan. 
  3. Loosen Mussels from Shells and dip in one of the sauces.

WHY MILLENNIALS LOVE OYSTERS SO MUCH

Few words have as many happy associations as the word “oyster”.  From Shakespeare’s famous line “Why then the world’s mine oyster” to Rolex naming their legendary silver watchband after this culinary delight, oysters have come to mean all things good and Millennials know it.

Just consider what eating oysters can do for the active body:

    •    Boost the Immune System:
Oysters contain a large amount of both vitamin E and C. They also contain various other minerals that help the immune system. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of oysters can protect against free radicals, which are released during cellular metabolism.

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    •    Promote Heart Health: 
Oysters are good for the heart. They reduce the plaque that accumulates on arteries by limiting its binding to the artery walls and blood vessels. The high magnesium and potassium content in oysters helps lower blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels

    •    Strengthen Eye Sight:
Oysters top the list for natural sources of zinc, the mineral that ensures that the eye’s pigment is adequately produced in the retina. The more zinc, the stronger your eyesight, because reduced pigmentation is often related to a reduction in the central visual field of vision.

    •    Improves Brain Function:
Oysters are a rich source of B12, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and iron, all benefiting brain function. Studies have shown that low iron in the brain reduces the ability of a person to concentrate while zinc deficiency can affect the memory.

    •    Acts as a Mood Boosting:
Due to the high levels of zinc found in oysters, they are known to stabilize mood. Zinc is considered an essential mineral because it is not stored by the body and needs to be consumed through diet.

    •    Makes You Beautiful :
The powerful mineral zinc plays a big role in skin repair by helping create and boost collagen. Collagen is crucial for the structural support in skin and reduces sagging. It also helps maintain stronger nails, and keeps scalp and hair healthy.

    •    Encourages Healthy Vascular System and Blood Vessels:
One single serving of oysters contains 16-18% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C  helps fight cardiovascular disease. Oysters are also high in omega–3 fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium which are known to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and can help lower blood pressure.

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    •    Increases Energy:
Oysters contain a good amount of B12 vitamins, which boost energy and turn the food into energy. Oysters also contain iron, which helps the body transport oxygen to individual cells giving an energy boost.

    •    Strengthens Bones:
The presence of selenium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium found in oysters leads to stronger bone health and density.

And it that’s not enough, they taste great - fresh on the half shell or prepared in hundreds of savory ways like the famed New Orleans entree, Oysters Rockefeller.

Oysters Rockefeller

Ingredients

  • 36 fresh Taylor Pacific Oysters
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely-minced onion 
  • 9 tablespoons finely-minced parsley 
  • 5 tablespoons homemade bread crumbs 
  • Tabasco Sauce to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint or Pernod
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Rock Salt
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

  1. Using an oyster knife, shuck open the oyster shells, then remove the oysters. 
  2. Discard the top shells. 
  3. Reserve the oyster liquor.
  4. In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add spinach, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, Tabasco Sauce, Herbsaint, and salt.  
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes.  
  6. Remove from heat.  
  7. Press the spinach mixture through a sieve or food mill; let cool.  
  8. Preheat oven broiler.  
  9. Line an ovenproof plate or platter with a layer of rock salt about 1-inch deep (moisten the salt very slightly).  
  10. Set oysters in the rock salt.
  11. Place a little of the reserved oyster liquor on each oyster.  
  12. Spoon an equal amount of the prepared parsley mixture over each oyster .
  13. Spread parsley mixture to the rim of the shell.
  14. Broil approximately 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have curled and the topping is bubbling.  
  15. Garnish the plates with the parsley sprigs and the lemon wedges.  
  16. Serve immediately.

PROTECTING THE SEA AND ALL WHO WORK UPON ITS WATERS

Today many nations, organizations, companies and concerned chefs are working hard to protect the seas and the people who make their living from it.

Because of programs like Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, humanity’s attention is turning to the seas for alternate forms of protein and concern about honest sourcing and fair labor practices.

Yet the struggle for responsible actions upon the sea began over 150 years ago when Andrew Furuseth fought for the rights of common seamen. 

During his life time not only whales but also seamen were treated with indifferent cruelty. The rights of a seamen were as little valued then as the marine species that were being fished to near extinction. Sailors could be shanghaied, whipped, starved and beaten without recourse to any form of justice. Pay could be withheld for the slightest of reasons.

Furuseth is credited as the key figure behind the drafting and enacting the Seamen’s Act of 1915,  hailed by seamen as "The Magna Carta of the Sea”.  It fundamentally changed the life of the American sailor. Among other things, it:

  •     Abolished the practice of imprisonment for seamen who deserted their ship,
  •     Reduced the penalties for disobedience,
  •     Regulated a seaman's working hours both at sea and in port,
  •     Established a minimum quality for ship's food,
  •     Regulated the payment of seamen's wages,
  •     Required specific levels of safety, particularly the provision of lifeboats and,
  •     Required a minimum of 75% of the seamen aboard a vessel to understand the language spoken by the officers 

In short, the seamen’s life became better, much better.

For over 125 years Taylor Shellfish Farms has followed the tradition begun by Furuseuth of respecting the sea and the people who work upon its waters. Taylor’s efforts have been recognized by the Aquaculture Sustainability Council (ASC) as being the first U.S. shellfish grower to achieve responsible aquaculture certification for their farming operation in Washington State.  

Taylor’s 600 employees work hard year round to continue their active support of the tidal environment.  Today as never before it is vital everyone protect and value the sea. The health of our beautiful planet depends upon us.