A Fishy Saturday (Part 2 of 3)

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

My husband is a real trooper. He got into those carcasses like a pro–after I found him “something silicone” so he wouldn’t have to touch the icky fish. Who knew a grill mitt was multifunctional?

Meanwhile I raided our refrigerator for any veggies on their last legs. Carrots, celery, parsnips, onions: get in that 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!

Author: Amanda Hope Haley

Amanda Hope Haley is a lover of the Bible—its God, its words, and its history. She holds a master’s degree of theological studies in Hebrew Scripture and Interpretation from Harvard University, hosts The Red-Haired Archaeologist podcast, has ghostwritten for popular Christian authors, and contributed to The Voice Bible translation. Amanda and her husband, David, live in Tennessee with their always-entertaining basset hound, Copper.

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