Sunday, May 8, 2011

Clams and Oysters Mama Pirri

Clam Boats and Dan's LITE Fried Oysters

Happy Mother's Day to Mama Pirri

Moms are the greatest people in the world.  We were not able to have any kids of our own (except for our Dog Eddie).  My own mom passed away several years ago.  Dan's Mom (Mama Pirri) is like a mom to me.  I like to do it up right for Mama Pirri.  I would have liked to put up e-pics of my own Mom... I only have good paper pics of her to share. 

True story... My mom died of MS.  She was in a nursing home when she met Mama Pirri right before Dan and I married.   As Mama Pirri and I were leaving, Mom called out in a faint voice... "Mary Kay, she likes you.  Don't screw this up." 

Needless to say, Mama Pirri took me under her wing from that day on.  She knew what mom really meant.  We have been the best of friends ever since.  Mama Pirri said that Mom's comment reminded her of something that her own mom would say.

Going out on Mother's Day can be a real chore; you have to wait for a table; you rack up drink bills at the bar while waiting, and the food and service is just -- okay -- because the restaurant is so darn busy.   What kind of treat is that for anyone?  Really?  Shouldn't you enjoy spending time with Mom in a less stressed out way?

Mama Pirri loves clams and oysters.  Dan and I decided to put together a Mom's-Day feast fit for the Queen of Neptune.  If your mom loves seafood, consider making this next year.  Any mom would love this better than going out.  The love and time that you put into making a home-cooked meal from the heart surpasses anything that money can buy!  Because of the sacrifices they made for you, moms really do appreciate it!

One of my mom's famous sayings (and she had many as she was a total sitcom character)... "Money doesn't make the man.  The man makes the man."  She did love Dan.  I am proud that she got to see us get married before she passed on.  I was so happy to have him help with the meal.

Mother's Day Menu at the Chateau LaBrie

Appetizer:   Steamed Clam Boats with Fresh Herbs, Lemon and Wine
Salad:           Pat and Gina Neelys' Watermelon Salad*, minus the Arugula...
Course:        Dan's Famous LITE Fried Oysters --
                               -- served with  -
                                         Jazzed Up Tarter Sauce (Secret Recipe...sorry)
                                         Cheesy Roasted Asparagus
Dessert:       Dan's Rum-Spiked Carrot Cake

Course #1:

Clams, Tomato, Fresh Herbs & Wine

Steamed Clam Boats (Per Boat)

I have seen similar recpies on TV and in magazines, but this is my version. 

One Dozen Littleneck Clams  - scrubbed
1/8 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
Course Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 -3 Springs Fresh Oregano
2 - 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 clove of Garlic, minced
Squirt of Lemon
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine

Combine all ingredients.  Secure the tin foil into a "boat" shape.   Grill packets for 15 minutes, until all clams open.  Serve clams in packets. 

Course: #2

Pat and Gina Neely's
Watermelon Salad (See link)

Pat and Gina's Watermelon Salad:  This was awesome.  Dan doesn't like Arugula so we left that out.


Course # 3

Dan's LITE Fried Oysters

Dan’s Famous LITE Fried Oysters

The egg mixture makes these extremely light.  Dan’s deep frying method is quick, that the oysters do not have the time to soak up the oil. 

2 – 8 oz containers shucked Oysters, rinsed and patted dry
60 oz. Canola Oil
3 Eggs, Beaten
Splash of 2% Milk
2 Cups Cornmeal
1 tablespoon Old Bay
1 tablespoon Spanish Paprika
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
Course Sea Salt, to taste
Squirt of Lemon Juice, to taste
Freshly Chopped Parsley, for garnish (optional)

Rinse oysters and pat dry with paper towel to remove any of the salty packing liquid. 

Add canola oil to a deep pan.  Using a candy thermometer, bring oil to 350 degrees.

Combine eggs and milk in one bowl.  Combine the cornmeal, Old Bay, paprika and garlic powder in another.  Dip oysters into egg mixture and then roll in corn meal mixture.  Drop oysters in batches into hot oil.  Be careful to use a splash guard.  Bring oil back to 350 degrees and cook oysters for about three minutes until golden brown.   Transfer to a plate or bowl lined with paper towel and pat with more paper towel to remove the excess oil. 

Immediately season with sea salt and a splash of lemon.   Top with chopped parsley (optional).

I like to serve this with my special tarter sauce (secret recipe…sorry – I don’t do that to you very often).  I pair this with fresh asparagus sprinkled with veggie seasoning.  I drizzle this with olive oil and grill it up in a tin foil pan for about 10 minutes.  I top it off with grated Swiss Cheese.

Course #4

Dan’s cake recipe is also a secret….  Actually, no... It's Duncan Hines mix with two shots of rum replacing some of the water... and canned Creamed Cheese frosting... 

PS:  The reason that I included a Neely recipe here is because Mama Pirri gets a kick out of Dan and my interaction in the kitchen.  She always laughs and says we need to take "kitchen couple etiquette lessons" from Pat and Gina.  Dan gets all hyper when he can't find something he needs in a drawer, and my response is... "If it were up your you know what you'd know it." ;.)  LOL.   Pat and Gina, if you ever offer couple's kitchen counseling, we are so there! 
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