Thank goodness for smart phones. We knew we had no time to waste, so I immediately started googling for a spoon fish recipe but to no avail. This must be a fisherman’s term that hasn’t entered the culinary world quite yet. Deciding to skip Jozoara, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Stones River Grill and planned our attack:
Appetizers: Oysters Rockefeller (because Daddy and I are the only ones who love them raw) and Clams in White Wine Butter Sauce
Soup: Seafood Chowder
Dinner: Red Snapper with Pear-Goat Cheese Salad, Broccoli Cheese Casserole (Mama’s contribution), and Rolls (also Mama–she’s no moocher!)
Step 1: Shopping!
We’d have to get into those oysters. David has seen enough Chopped episodes to know NOT to open them with a knife unless we wanted to add an ER trip to our agenda. We stopped at Chef Mart and bought a oyster knife for $3. Not bad!
Publix was next: shallots, spinach, lemons, canned clams (no use wasting the fresh ones in a soup!), and cream. Lots of cream.
Step 2: Making the Broth
A few hours later we had the tastiest fish broth I’ve ever had. Our chowder was looking promising!
Step 3: Prepping the Oysters
This was a bit of an adventure for my sweet husband. He gleefully took our new oyster knife and grabbed an oyster. Those shells are locked very tightly! It took him a few attempts to figure out how to pry a shellfish open, but once he did, he was a machine. All were ready in under a minute. We added the spinach and cheese we’d prepared and voila! Oysters Rockefeller were ready for the oven.
Step 4: Cooking the Chowder
In my 10 years as a married woman, I have become a master roux maker. That’s how this delectable dish began: shallots sauteed in butter plus flour plus cream, cream, and more cream. David chopped and added the potatoes, clams, and “spoon fish”; then we waited an hour or so for the best chowder we’d ever eaten. Move over Boston Chowda Company!
Step 5: Sauteing the Clams
Our last dish for the evening was one of the first we’d eat with my parents: Clams in White Wine and Butter Sauce. We didn’t really follow a recipe for this; it was all by feel. I started with a knob (as Jamie Oliver would say) of butter, then I sauteed more shallots. Next I added wine and some porcini mushrooms, and I let that all cook together for a few minutes. I then dumped in the clams and let them steam until they opened. After removing the clams, I added some cream and let the sauce thicken just a bit before I dumped it over the clams and set the whole appetizer on the table.
Stay tuned for part 3: our big meal!