Summer Stuff: Seafood

Friday, August 05, 2011

Our Summer Stuff series continues with a look at more fun ways to enjoy summer in the city. This week, Chef Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar tells how to pick, prepare, and enjoy summer seafood—from lobster to oysters to clams. She's the author of Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine, written with Deborah Di Clementi.


Rebecca Charles

Comments [13]

NAB from NYC

For RL-- my favorite spot for lobster in Manhattan is Ed's Lobster (famously, Pearl's rival). They do whole lobsters for $34 that are a pound and a half, just steamed with butter. On thursdays the special is for whole lobsters at $28--easily the best deal in town.

Aug. 09 2011 01:49 PM
Elena from LIC

>Why are oysters in New Orleans served with big chunks of rock salt?

Not sure what you mean. Like, served a bed of rock salt? When not using an oyster plate with wells for each oyster, salt keeps the opened oyster level on the serving dish, so you don't lose the liquor. Salt is cheap and food-safe.

Aug. 05 2011 01:58 PM
amy stone from Manhattan

Please tell Rebecc Charles that Wellfleet oysters were my favorite, too, until I had Pemaquid oysters in Maine 2 weeks ago at Schooner Landing in Damariscotta (fresh out of their own beds)

Aug. 05 2011 12:50 PM

Sarah: Yes, they are alive.

Caitlin: Most mussels are now farmed, not wild, so cleaning is much less of an issue. But if you get wild mussels, try soaking them in a big pot of ocean-salty water for an hour or two. This will flush out sand, grit, seaweed, etc. This also works for wild clams and oysters.

Aug. 05 2011 12:47 PM

Why are oysters in New Orleans served with big chunks of rock salt?

Aug. 05 2011 12:45 PM

The Lobster Farm on Allen st ( between Chinatown and LES) is great. The boss speaks English but I have been eating their lobsters for years and never a problem.
they are closed on Sunday but open on Christmas Day ( we eat Lobster for Christmas)

Aug. 05 2011 12:41 PM
David from Manhattan

Any tips for cleaning mussels or where to buy clean ones? The amount of work involved is almost a deterrent to eating them.

Aug. 05 2011 12:41 PM

If I wanted to grill lobsters or oysters this weekend can they be cooked that way

Aug. 05 2011 12:39 PM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Is the lobster alive when you put it in the clam bake?

Aug. 05 2011 12:33 PM
Elena from LIC

Chinatown is a good place to buy lobster.

>If you're gonna put it on a bun or mix it in mayo, you may as well toss it in the trash

This is silly and pretentious. Lobster is not "holy," it's a delicious bait fish that's become rare due to popularity. Mayo and white bread are as mild a foil to mild, sweet lobster meat as butter is. Lobster is to be enjoyed, not subjected to phony purism.

Aug. 05 2011 12:29 PM

I tried cooking mussels for the first time recently- does the guest have any tips for them?

RL- most grocery stores will steam them for you for free, if you are too squeamish to cook them yourself. Much cheaper than going to a restaurant!

Aug. 05 2011 12:24 PM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn, New York

There are some great places to buy lobster in South Brooklyn, namely Red Hook Lobster Pound and Fish Tales (amazing fish as well) in Cobble Hill. Both are worth the subway ride in if you live in the city.

Aug. 05 2011 12:23 PM

Lobster is pure and holy. If you're gonna put it on a bun or mix it in mayo, you may as well toss it in the trash or use the fake lobster (cod).

Lobster is subtle and will taste like whatever you do to it - just boil it, dip in clarified butter and drop in your mouth.

Where can we go in Manhattan for whole lobster without paying tourist prices????

Aug. 05 2011 12:19 PM

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