Having traveled across the country for his Food Network TV show, chef Tyler Florence has developed a keen perspective on how Americans like to eat and cook today. He is a champion for uncomplicated recipes, bright flavors and fresh food, which he believes is the type of cooking which comes from a "real kitchen." And what could be more real than fresh seafood? Florence was invited on the “Today” show to demonstrate some super summer shellfish dishes. Here are his recipes:
Raw Clams and Oysters on the Half ShellTyler Florence
Time: As quick as you can shuck! Makes 24 oysters.
The techniques for opening raw clams and oysters are a little different but the process starts out the same. First thing is, buy shellfish that is impeccably fresh — that means it smells great, the shells aren’t broken and are tightly closed. Discard any that open between the time you buy them and when you get home. Hold them on ice (not in water) in the refrigerator until you’re ready to shuck and eat them. And plan on eating as quick as you can shuck.
Scrub both oysters and clams under cold water with a stiff brush to get rid of all of the dirt. Next, get yourself a shellfish glove — or a heavy-weight cloth will work — to steady the shellfish as you’re shucking and also protect your hand from any wayward jabs of the knife. If you’re using a cloth, fold it over several times into a square to make a mitt.
To shuck oysters: Hold the oyster firmly in the palm of your towel- or glove-covered hand with the fatter side up. Have a bowl nearby to collect the juices. Insert the tip of an oyster knife between the shell halves at the hinge; work it around one side to the other as you pry it open. Once the shell has opened a bit, you can run the knife along the inside of the top shell to cut the muscles away from that shell, bend the shell back to release it, and discard. Then slide the knife underneath the oyster to detach it completely, but leave it in its shell (take care not to cut the meat itself.) Tip the juice out into the bowl so you can pick out any bits of shell, then, pour it back over the shucked oyster.
To shuck clams: You’re going to use a clam knife, which is the same size as an oyster knife, but one side is honed to a dull edge. Look carefully at a clam — you’ll see that one side of the shell (to the right or left of the hinge) is fatter than the other. Hold the clam in your glove- or mitt-covered hand with the thin side in your palm and the chubby side sticking up. Wedge the blade side of the knife into the seam between the shells and press and work it until you can get in between the shells. Then continue on just as for oysters.
Cocktail Sauce (The Classic)
Stir together all of the ingredients in a bowl and chill for about 1 hour to allow the flavors to come together.
In a small bowl, combine the rice-wine vinegar, shallots, ginger, cucumber, black pepper and cilantro. Mix it all up with a fork. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before you plan to serve, to allow the flavors to come together. Stir in the shiso just before serving, if using. Serve with raw oysters and clams.
Cut off the top and bottom ends of the limes so that they stand upright. Then use a knife to cut off the peel in long strips, including as much of the white pith as possible (it’s bitter). Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut between the membranes to free the lime sections; seed them and drop them into the bowl. Discard the membranes. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and stir gently.
Nestle the oysters and clams in a bed of crushed ice or rock salt to keep them steady. Serve with one or all three of the sauces.9123067605752693560499
oysters, such as Malpèque, Wellfleet, Kumamoto, Blue Point or Belon2424 oysters, such as Malpèque, Wellfleet, Kumamoto, Blue Point or BelonLittleneck clams2424 Littleneck clamscrushed ice or rock saltClassic Cocktail sauce (see recipe below)Japanese Mignonette (see recipe below)Mango-Radish Salsa (see recipe below)ketchup0.5cup1/2 cup ketchupgrated fresh or prepared horseradish0.25cup1/4 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradishlemon1Juice of 1 lemonworcestershire sauce1tablespoon1 tablespoon Worcestershire saucehot pepper sauceA few drops of hot pepper saucerice wine vinegar1cup1 cup rice wine vinegarshallot11 shallot, mincedfresh ginger11-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and gratedhothouse cucumber0.51/2 hothouse cucumber, peeled and mincedfreshly ground black pepperSeveral turns freshly ground black pepperfresh cilantro1 handful of fresh cilantro, choppedshiso leaf22 shiso leaves, cut into chiffonade (optional)limes22 limesmango22 mangoes, peeled and finely dicedred radish54 to 5 red radishes, finely dicedchili powder1tablespoon1 tablespoon chili powderfresh cilantro, chopped0.5bunch1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/4 cup)extra-virgin olive oil0.25cup1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oilKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steamed Lobster With Lemon-Caper MayonnaiseTyler Florence
Time: 30 minutes, plus about 2 hours to chill.
Put about 2 inches of water in a large steamer or soup pot. Add the salt and squeeze in the lemon juice; toss the squeezed lemon halves in there too for extra flavor. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Place the lobsters in the steamer basket or directly in the pot, cover, and steam until they turn bright red, about 15 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pot and drain. Cool them to room temperature, then chill thoroughly before you crack them open.
(Makes about 2 cups.)
Add the lemon zest and juice, capers, and parsley to the food processor with the mayonnaise and process to blend. Taste for salt.
(Makes about 2 cups.)
In a non-reactive bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the egg yolks, mustard, and salt and pepper. Whisk or pulse in the machine just enough to break up the yolks.
If you’re making the mayonnaise by hand, put the bowl on a damp towel to keep it from moving around while you work. Then drizzle in the oils, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If the emulsion breaks so that the mayonnaise will begin to look curdled, and the oil will pool. Don’t freak — it’s easy to fix. Stop drizzling and whisk until it comes together again. Then whisk in the lemon juice and water. If you’re using the food processor, pour in the oil in a thin stream, with the machine running. (The mayonnaise is very unlikely to break in a food processor.) Then process in the lemon juice and water. Taste for salt and pepper. This mayonnaise and all the variations will last a good week, wrapped up in the fridge.
Serve with lemon wedges and Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise.
9123067604812693560499live lobster1.5pound4 live lobsters (1 1/2 pounds each)lemon22 lemons, halved, plus more for servingkosher salt1tablespoon1 tablespoon kosher saltLemon-Caper Mayonnaise (recipe below)lemon1grated zest and juice of 1 lemoncapers, drained1tablespoon1 tablespoon capers, drainedchopped fresh flat-leaf parsley0.5tablespoon1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley1 recipe Basic Mayonnaise, made in the food processor and left in the work bowl (see below)Pinch of kosher saltlarge egg yolk44 large egg yolksdry mustard1teaspoon1 teaspoon dry mustardKosher salt and freshly ground black peppercanola oil1.5cup1 1/2 cups canola oilextra-virgin olive oil3tablespoon3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilfresh lemon juice2tablespoon2 tablespoons fresh lemon juicewater1tablespoon1 tablespoon water
Shrimp Poached With Beer, Old Bay And LemonTyler Florence
Time: 20 minutes, plus at least 1 hour for chilling.
Fill a large pot with about 1/2 gallon water. Crack open the beer and pour that in. Add the salt and squeeze in the lemon juice; toss the halves in too. Add the herbs, the garlic and the Old Bay or Zatarain’s. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the water with the aromatics.
Now reduce the heat to medium-low and put in the shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are bright pink. Drain, then transfer to a bowl. Chill thoroughly, then peel.
Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce9123067605752693560499beer (any kind you like)11 bottle of beer (any kind you like)kosher salt2teaspoon2 teaspoons kosher saltlemon22 lemons, halvedbay leaf33 bay leavesfresh thyme sprigs1 handful fresh thyme sprigsgarlic, split horizontally1head1 head garlic, split horizontallyold bay seasoning or zatarain’s shrimp boil1tablespoon1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning or Zatarain’s Shrimp Boiljumbo shrimp, with shells, heads and tails on2pound2 pounds jumbo shrimp, with shells, heads and tails onlemon wedges, for serving
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All recipes courtesy of Tyler Florence. Copyright ©2004 by Tyler Florence.