Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roasted Shellfish with Coriander, Fennel and Meyer Lemon

Not for the faint of heart, this recipe was deceptively easy on paper.  The most challenging part was finding the correct shellfish and then convincing Mike we should splurge for this dish (and have him trust that I wouldn't royally screw it up).  Beyond the challenge of finding the correct shellfish and managing the cost (Crab legs were $34.00/lb), the hardest part of this recipe is managing your cooking temperature.  You need to know your oven and stovetop temperatures well and watch the dish closely, to avoid overcooking.

If you are still in, the recipe is as follows (taken from Bon Apetit Magazine):


Prep: 35 minutes / Total: 35 Minutes / 4 Servings
(This recipe is easy to split in half if you are cooking for only two...I don't recommend doing left over shellfish)

- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds stone crab claws* or Canadian snow crab legs, shells cracked with a mallet or cut with scissors
- 8 farmed Manila clams or quahogs (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
- 16 farmed mussels, scrubbed, debearded
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice or 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- Chopped fresh chives
*After going to two locations, we compromised and purchased one whole Dungeness crab, which they cracked for us at Captain Kidds, near the Redondo Pier.

Our Crab From Captain Kidds (I named him, Fred)

Captain Kidd's - Redondo Beach

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Process coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a spice grinder or coffee mill until coarsely ground (I have neither, so I used a mortar and pestal). 

Place heavy large roasting pan over 2 burners and heat over medium heat.  Add ground coriander and fennel seeds and stir 1 minute.  Add olive oil, cracked crab, Manila clams and mussels; stir to coat.  Place pan in oven.  Roast until crab is heated through and clmas and mussels open, stirring occasionally and transferring clams and mussels to platter as they open, about 10 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer crab, clams and mussels to platter (discard any clams and mussels that do not open); tent with foil to keep warm.  Heat same pan over 2 burners over high heat.  Add shallots and wine and boil 1 minute.  Add lemon juice and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in butter.  Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over shellfish.  Sprinkle with chives and serve.

This recipe is excellent served with toasted baguette.  Purchase the baguette on the day you want to eat it. Thinly slice the bread into approx 1" thick pieces; spread the pieces out onto a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and throw into the oven after you remove the shellfish.  Bake until toasted (approx 5-7 minutes).

Mike and enjoyed this meal with a bottle of lovely champagne to celebrate the Lost finale.

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