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Old 05-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #21
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i'm getting ready to clean and debeard a couple lbs. of mussels. it is my first time. i came across a helpful cleaning hint online that has me even further confused: one commenter says, 'add some cornmeal to the water of the first soaking'. WTH? this is the first i'm hearing about a second (or third?) soaking for shellfish. and them beards and barnicles are pretty scary looking too....
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #22
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Those inexpensive mahogany clams are back in the grocery flyer!

I am still a little nervous about giving them a try and I have a couple of questions.

First how far in advance can I buy them and keep them in the refrigerator.

Second on this purging business, will it work if I put them in a Pyrex 9x13 baking pan with some salt water and a damp dish towel tossed over them or do they need to be in a deeper container, similar to the ocean.
You can buy them one day in advance; keep them on ice in the fridge.

Ask at the seafood counter whether they need purging; it's often already done. If you need to do it, I'd use a mixing bowl. They should be completely submerged. No need to cover them. Let them sit for about 30 minutes and they will be ready to cook.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:54 AM   #23
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At least the clams are clean shaven!

Everything I have read talks about one soaking, some say a sprinkling of corn meal some don't.

Good luck, make sure you give us a full report!
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:01 AM   #24
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You can buy them one day in advance; keep them on ice in the fridge.

Ask at the seafood counter whether they need purging; it's often already done. If you need to do it, I'd use a mixing bowl. They should be completely submerged. No need to cover them. Let them sit for about 30 minutes and they will be ready to cook.
Last year when I quizzed the fish monger he said the inexpensive clams, 50/$5.99, were as dug and could contain a quantity of grit and or mud. He said the expensive clams, 12/$4.99, were purged and ready to go. I'm so cheap that I just have to give the inexpensive clams a try, we'll see next weekend!

I'll start rummaging around in the cupboard for a suitable vomitorium to put them in!
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:22 AM   #25
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Last year when I quizzed the fish monger he said the inexpensive clams, 50/$5.99, were as dug and could contain a quantity of grit and or mud. He said the expensive clams, 12/$4.99, were purged and ready to go. I'm so cheap that I just have to give the inexpensive clams a try, we'll see next weekend!

I'll start rummaging around in the cupboard for a suitable vomitorium to put them in!
Make sure when you purge them the water is very SALTY! Otherwise they will drown. I use sea salt.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:23 AM   #26
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At least the clams are clean shaven!

Everything I have read talks about one soaking, some say a sprinkling of corn meal some don't.

Good luck, make sure you give us a full report!

And some say oatmeal.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:07 PM   #27
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There are so many ways and myths floating about regarding purging clams, mussels, etc. Some swear by cornmeal, others use oatmeal and some use nothing. Common sense will tell you what to do.

Does cornmeal or oatmeal grow in the ocean? Of course not.

A simple soaking in very salty water for about 30 minutes is fine. Clams live burrowed in the sand. Mussels cling (hence the beard) to rocks and eat what is floating by. They don't get as sandy as clams. But if you want, a short soaking in salty water for a short time is fine. It certainly won't hurt them.

You never want to soak any seafood in fresh water. Crazy as it may sound, they will drown and die on you. They cannot breath in fresh water. And your fresh water from the tap has chlorine in it. A chemical that is not conducive to happy living for small live sea animals.

If you are going to use wine or some other alcohol product in you final dish, make sure you cook off the alcohol before you add the seafood to the dish. Alcohol often has a way of making the little critters become tough.

When you are removing the meat from the shells, do so over a clean bowl so you can catch every drop of liquor. Before you add that delicious juice to your final dish, strain it through a really fine mesh strainer with a cheesecloth placed inside. It will catch the last bit of sand. Place the meat from the shells in that liquor also so you can give them a final rinse.

The water that you steamed the clams or mussels in also has great flavor. Do no waste it. That too should be strained before adding it to your final recipe.

When you buy seashells by the bag, there should be a tag on it stating where and when they were dug. Save this tag in the event all of them were dead by the time you got them home or you became sick. The information will be very helpful to the authorities.

Make sure you only make your purchases from a reputable vendor. If you see someone selling the at the side of the road from the back of his truck, I can almost guarantee that person is a poacher and does not have a license for clam digging. And more than likely, the clams are not sitting on a bed of ice.

Here hoping you enjoy your meal of seafood and are happy as a clam.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:36 PM   #28
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so i said to myself, 'why wait till dinnertime? i'll cook my mussels for lunch. who's to object? nobody, that's right!' as it turned out, the cleaning tweren't much work, took only about 10 minutes in all. the mussels were remarkably clean. maybe cos they were farm-raised in canada...anyhow, very few of them were barnacle-encrusted, and not many had beards, either. the ones that did though, were mightly reluctant to part with them, putting up quite a fight, the little stinkers!
oh man, i steamed them mussels in a garlicky (red, not white) wine sauce--ooh that liquor! the mussels, such sweet tender morsels, bathed in the wine sauce w/tomatoes and shallots--heavenly! i had crusty french rolls (alexi's--verrry nice) to dip into the broth--what a mouthfest of a meal. i had to stop eating after about two dozen, but there are enough mussels left over so that i can do this again tomorrow, yum....
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #29
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Sounds like you had a great success. See, shellfish are so easy to do. Me. I am making myself a potato salad. Have been hankering for about a week for one. Just four potatoes this time. Don't want to become a about it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:19 PM   #30
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This is an outstanding way to steam mussels. Karen does not like licorice flavored liquors, but love's these mussels. Need lots of crusty bread for sopping.

Carrabbas Mussels Cozze Bianco Recipe - Food.com
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clams, cooking, recipe

Cooking clams at home? I would like to steam a dozen clams for myself now that I have seen pac's clambake. I have never cooked a small amount indoors and I could use some tips or a TNT method. Also I am wondering what are the best types of clams, likely to be found in the supermarket. Do small amounts of clams from the grocery store require cleaning or purging similar to the process used in cleaning large amounts? Could I just lay them in a frying pan and add a little water, butter etc and just bring to a boil for a few minutes. I know how to melt the butter and open the beer, it's the rest of the process that confuses me. :ermm::ohmy::lol: Any help would be appreciated! Thanks, B 3 stars 1 reviews
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