Home Sea Fare Getting Steamy

Getting Steamy

by James O. Fraioli
NW Steam Pot
Photo by Charity Burggraaf

Summer in the Northwest means outdoor cookouts, beach barbecues, and feasts afloat. It’s also an excellent time to make the most of our local seafood—clams, mussels, Dungeness crab, spot prawns, diver scallops—all looking and tasting their best. So, after a sun-splashed day gathering the ocean’s bounty, celebrate the seafood harvest with this showstopper from the cookbook ROCHE: A Culinary Journey Through San Juan Island’s Illustrious Harbor, which I co-authored with Chef Bill Shaw. To me, it doesn’t get any better than fresh shellfish slowly simmered in white wine, butter, garlic, herbs, and smoky pork fat with crispy garlic bread for dipping into the beautiful broth. When assembling this recipe, make sure the clams and mussels are tight-lipped. If any are open, give them a quick shake. If they do not close, simply discard them. Also make sure to give the seafood a rinse under running water to remove any grit or sand before they go in the pan.

Northwest Steam Pot with Smoky Andouille Sausage

Serves 6

4 ounces butter

2 tablespoons minced garlic

6 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced in half, then cut into ½-inch-thick half-moons

12 ounces manila clams, rinsed to remove any sand

12 ounces mussels, debearded and rinsed

4 ounces white wine

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

¼ cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Dungeness crab, broken into leg sections with body meat attached

8 ounces spot prawns, in shell, split in half

Garlic bread, as needed

Lemon slices, for garnish

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