Simon and I took a little Sunday trip up Chuckanut Drive yesterday. Exit 231 off of I 5 North takes you through the small town of Bow, Washington and all the way to Bellingham.
The view is spectacular along this forested road, lots of wonderful seascapes along the way.
The best reason for going up Chuckanut Drive (in our culinary opinion) is Taylor's Shellfish. Some of the world's best Oysters comes from the waters along Chuckanut. We stopped at the farm and picked up a dozen Oysters for dinner and a bag of manila clams. We also snacked on a package of smoked oysters on the way home.
To prepare oysters and clams you must first clean them. This is a simple process. For the oysters just soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes, then scrub them with a brush.
For the clams, do the same, but we add a few tablespoons of corn meal to the water.
We placed the cleaned clams in a steamer with a lid. Gently boil the water. The clams will all open up when they are done. (If the clam doesn't open...don't eat it.)
We prepared the oysters on a small fire pit in our yard. We let the firewood burn down to coals and placed a metal bbq grill on top. The oysters were set on the grill, with the flatter side of the shell on top. As these cook they will spit out some of their juices and you want to retain as much of this fluid as possible, so having the deeper side of the shell act like a bowl is the key. After about 7-10 minutes the oysters will begin to make a popping noise. Remove the oysters from the grill. I used an oven mitt in one hand to hold the hot oyster while using a paring knife in my other hand to open the shell. (I could not find an oyster knife at our local shop so had to improvise.) The technique worked quite well. It didn't take long to get all 12 of the oysters open.
I served the shell fish with a nice tossed salad, some crusty artisan bread and a butter sauce:
1 Stick of butter
3 Tsp tarragon
1 clove garlic
A dash or two of tabasco sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste.