Friday, January 08, 2010

Bounty of the sea

There is something waiting for me on my front poarch. I know it is well before noon and I am dreaming of food already.

"Well, let's face it" as my Grandma would always say, I have all weekend and I must keep myself busy and to do so I am going to write cook, test, write. I have not had a drive like this in a long time and I am hoping on board and riding this train and I can't wait to see where it takes me. In an attempt not to talk about my knee and how lame crutches are, I am going to talk about food, read cookbooks and blogs, and write about it.

Back to what is waiting for me when I get home. My parents were lucky enough to relocate to a beautiful new location in Birch Bay. I am talking the perfect place, right on the water. My dad spends his free time combing the beach for "treasures" as well as digging clams, fishing and catching crab. I reap the benifits of this, a great vacation spot, and constant FRESH seafood and polished gems. My dad dug clams this week and is sharing with me, delived to my door as I work.

Heather and Brandon's beautiful little girl, Maddy.

During the summer months their beachfront property is heavenly, there really is not a better spot to have a picnic, party or beach fire. This is a photo of last summer as family gathered around sucking down fresh clams.

The beach is so much more interesting through the eyes of a wild three year old (Grady, Heather and Brandon's son). Hours can pass and you realize that there is an infinite world located under rocks.

Dinner and a peek at what it looks like out their windows.

The photo and recipe can be found at:

I love shellfish and when I see it on a menue I have a hard time ordering an entree because I am as happy as a clam (**sorry**) to eat a plate of steamers. I have been known to cook a huge pot of steamers and eat them over the kitchen sink, leaving a bowl of shells and J. wondering how I could of ate all those while he took a short nap. I love seafood that much.

This weekend I resolved myself not to devour the clams but to branch out and make one of my favorite dishes, incorperating the fresh clams, hand delivered to my door.

3/4 cup butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic,
minced 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp - peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
18 small clams
18 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 1/2 cups crabmeat
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets, cubed

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add onions, garlic and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
Add tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks as you add them). Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, water and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Stir in the shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and crabmeat. Stir in fish, if desired. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread!

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