Buying Frozen Salmon

Farm raising Salmon has lead to an abundance of affordable fish.  Only problem is that you don’t know what to look for when you are buying it.

When you are buying frozen Salmon, look for salmon that has been frozen solid and does not look like it has defrosted during transit.  Avoid packages that look freezer burned or have any white icy colorations.

Once you get it home wrap it in freezer paper tightly or in an air tight container.  Freeze immediately and it should stay fresh for up to 4 months.

When you are ready to use your salmon, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Don’t forget to put a plate or a pan underneath to catch any juices that might escape the packaging.  Once it has thoroughly thawed you can make your recipe as normal.

Clamped Clams

You have done all of the cleaning and rinsing on your clams but you still can’t get the little guys open.  If your clams stay firmly clamped shut and you can’t get a knife inserted, throw them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.

You don’t want them to freeze, but the cold temperature will make them easier to open.

Complicated Clams

I admit it, I hate shelling clams.  If I need to use them in a recipe, I go out of my way to find them already shelled.  If you find yourself with a few clams that need to be shucked, here is a tip to help you do it a bit more easily.

Live clams in their shell can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.  Before you start shucking, check all of the clams and discard any that are not tightly sealed.  If there is a gap it means that the clam has died and you shouldn’t eat the meat from it.

Wash the clams thoroughly using a brush to clean off any extra sand or debris. Place your whole unopened clams into a large bowl of bucket of clean cold water.  Let them sit for about 5 minutes, or up to an hour.  When you are ready to start shucking, grab one out of the bucket and quickly insert a clam knife or butter knife into the natural split of the shell horizontally and gently twist causing the clam to open wider.

Once you have enough room to work inside the shell, cut the muscle attaching the clam meat to the shell on both sides.  Using a sharp knife you can now puncture the stomach and rinse out the contents.

Once your clams are shucked you can place in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to 7 days, or you can freeze them for up to 2 months.

How Many Shrimp Per Pound?

You need to buy some shrimp, you know how many guests are coming and the number of shrimp that you need, but you have no idea how many pounds you will need. Here is a chart to help you determine about how many you need.

Size – Jumbo # per pound – About 10 – 4 per person
Size – Extra Large # per pound – 10-15 – 5 per person
Size – Large # per pound 16-20 – 8 per person
Size – Medium # per pound 31-35 – 10 per person
Size – Small # per pound 43-50 – 15 per person
Size – Tiny # per pound Over 70 – 20 per person

No Bones About Fish

When you are making up a recipe that asks for a deboned fish fillet, you look at the slab of fish and think to yourself, how am I going to do this?

It is actually easier than it looks.

Simply take a clean bowl from your cupboard and put it upside down on your counter.

Lay the fish fillet over the domed surface and using a pair of tweezers, pull out the bones that are jutting out.

Selecting Scallops

When you are selecting scallops, there are 3 different varieties.  Here is a little bit about each of them to help you decide which one’s to pick if you have multiple choices.

Sea Scallops – Preferred choice. Seas Scallops vary in size from the size of a quarter to the size of a half dollar. They should be milky white, and yes, the bigger the better. Sea Scallops are available year round.

Bay Scallops – Bay Scallops vary in size from the size of a nickel to the size of a quarter. Bay Scallops are typically only available from October to February. These scallops are also milky white. (Second Choice)

Calico Scallops – Calico Scallops (Southern Bay Scallops) are the same milky white as Sea Scallops or Bay Scallops, but they have tan or gray blotches. They do not typically have the same great taste as Bay or Sea Scallops.

Sharing Seafood

You plan on having a seafood feast with all of your friends, but you are unsure as to how much you need to buy. You don’t want to buy too much, but then again you want everyone to have enough to eat.

This is a basic list of different types of seafood and a general idea of how much per serving. Remember if you are serving multiple kids of seafood, you do not need the full serving per person.

Seafood                                         Servings per Person
Crawfish                                        1 pound whole
Scallops                                         4 ounces (not including shell)
Lobster                                          1 average size tail (about 8 ounces)
Mussels                                          12 in shell
Oysters (in shell)                          6
Clams (large in shell)                   6
Clams (med to small in shell)     8 to 10 depending on size</td>
Oysters (shucked)                         ½ Cup
Clams (shucked)                            ½ Cup
Dungeness Crab                            ½ to whole depending on size
Blue Crab                                       1 pound live
Crab Legs                                       ½ pound
Crab Meat                                      4 ounces
Shrimp (in shell)                          6 ounces
Shrimp (peeled)                           4 ounces

Breading Blues

You are making a recipe that asks for the meat to be breaded.  Only problem is, you can’t get it to stick!  Before breading your food, make sure that the item(s) that you would like to bread are totally dry.

Next take a room temperature egg and mix well. Dip your item to be breaded into the egg mixture and then into your prepared dry breading mix.

Let sit for as long as you can in the refrigerator, up to an hour, before cooking.

Leftover Cooked Fish

You are scrounging around the refrigerator and freezer, trying to find something quick to make for dinner.

A couple of nights ago you made some fish, and had quite a bit left over. You pull it out and decide that you can give it some new life by making some fish cakes.

You can use just about any kind of fish for fish cakes.

For 2 servings, simply add about a 1 cup fish to approx 1/2 cup or so of mashed potatoes. Add an egg and a couple of tablespoons of onion.

Heat a large fry pan with a few tablespoons of oil to med-high.

Make 4 patties out of your fish mixture about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Fry in the oil for 3-5 minutes until completely warmed through and lightly browned on each side .

Once the are fryed up, you can eat them or you can cool them and freeze until you need it for a quick accompanyment to go with some soup for lunch.

Buying Shellfish

You can buy shellfish in many forms and varieties. You can find it live, cooked, partially prepared, frozen, canned and blister packed.

When you are shopping for live shellfish, it is often hard to tell what is fresh and what is not.

To select the best oysters and clams possible, you need to try to find them live. To determine if they are alive they should close their shells tightly when you tap on them.

When looking at crabs or lobsters, you want to look for critters that move all of their claws and legs.

Shrimp will pretty much always be fresh or frozen; you most likely will not find it “live” anywhere except a bait shop. For shrimp you just want to look for evenly colored shrimp that does not exhibit a “fishy” smell.