Clams and Oysters and Garlic and Wine, oh my!

Recently, Mr. Fae and I traveled to the Pacific northwest to enjoy cooler weather than here in Reno, our 35th wedding anniversary, and a much needed vacation.  I knew that while we were there, we would indulge in much eating of the local seafood.  Much. Eating.  While there, we learned a thing or two, also, about clamming and oysters.  Now, mind you, I ‘dug’ clams as a young kid with my folks on vacation.  We spent days on Long Beach, Washington, digging, with a clam gun.  Then one of my brothers and I cleaned multitude of nasty clams.  Razor Clams.  Ever see one?


Nasty things.  Needless to say, my hands smelled of clams for what seemed like months and I wouldn’t eat another clam until I was in my 30’s.  I thought that all clams looked like this and smelled like this and tasted like this.  Boy, was I wrong!

We brought our black rubber boots in anticipation of wandering the beaches at low tide and perhaps doing ‘some’ clamming.  Where we stayed was right next to the ocean and we rented clamming rakes.  I never raked for clams and neither had Mr. Fae.  What a blast!  And it was so easy as well.  North Head Lighthouse 008 North Head Lighthouse 009

Once we had our limit of 20 apiece, off we traipsed back home to cook up some dinner.

You have to first wash all the sand and grit off of them, then soak them in salted water for about 20 minutes..twice.  Once that’s done, it’s time to cook up some delish appetizers.

Here’s the ingredient class photo.La Push and Forks WA 002

Yes, that’s right.  Clams, garlic, wine (see the cork?) and ghee or clarified butter, if you will.  Melt the butter, chop up the garlic and put the clams into a pan large enough to hold them.

La Push and Forks WA 005 La Push and Forks WA 006Bring this to a boil and cover for about 5 minutes or until the shells start to open.  At that point, pour in enough wine for them to steam the rest of the way open with the cover on medium low.

La Push and Forks WA 007

This is such a fast appetizer to make and so tasty!

La Push and Forks WA 010

And after that, it was time for our Grilled Oysters.  Having never grilled an oyster before in my life, we searched out those who have and they shared their secrets.  Unfortunately, we had to purchase our oysters, not hunt them down, because…well, we didn’t know how or where to.  We know our limitations.  The lady we purchased them from, Seasonal Seafoods, was very helpful in the explanations on the how-tos.

That glass of wine photo bombs all. the. time.

That glass of wine photo bombs all. the. time.

Did you know that there’s a right side and a wrong side for grilling oysters?  Me, neither.

My lovely hand model, Joey, will demonstrate for you.  The bowl of the oyster is the bed and should be on the bottom, while the shallow top is the lid.

La Push and Forks WA 017

Scrubbed and cleaned as well, no soaking required for these.  We heated the grill and spread some foil on the grate.  You want to try to keep as much of the liquid of the oyster in that nice shell bowl.  This is on a medium low heat with the cover on.  It doesn’t take long and their lids start to pop open as well.  Once that happens, dig in with any tasty condiment you prefer.  I like them with Mignonette sauce shown here or some folks just like a spicy chili sauce to dip them into.  We were given a sample Mignonette vinegar from Seasonal Seafoods that we used.La Push and Forks WA 019

Word of caution for both the clams and oysters:  if the shells don’t open, don’t eat them.  They are the bad ones and need to be spanked and sent to military school.lorna bbq

Hmmm…where are we off to next?  Wait and see.



Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 4.24.55 PM


About Fae

Although I have other blogs I do for my grandchildren, I felt it wasn't enough to satisfy my inner author. I needed a grownup blog to share things on or rant about. Purely egocentric. Hope you like it.
This entry was posted in Food, Paleo approved. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Clams and Oysters and Garlic and Wine, oh my!

  1. Farie says:

    Love this! I love clams, but I have never been clam raking here; I believe we went clam digging once or twice when I was a kid and my parents had a cabin in Baja. I remember my dad would let the clams sit in fresh water in a 5 gallon bucket overnight, changing the water once. So they were eaten with gluttonous enthusiasm the next day, with drawn butter. Yum!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s