Happy Memorial Day!  I just want to give a quick shout out to all of the Veterans out there that have served this country. Thank you very much for all that you have done.  The United States would be nothing without you.  Thanks again.

Memorial Day Extravaganza

Dana’s friend Kristy came to visit and we wanted to try something new.  So I searched and found a new fish purveyor.  M. Slavin & Sons, which is located on Glebe in Arlington.  It is awesome!!  Basically candyland for adults.  So I picked up a couple dozen oysters and a couple pounds of mussels.  Yep, this Memorial Day is going to be Seafood, Seafood, Seafood.

Oysters on the Half Shell

I looked and the Oysters looked delicious!  Luckily Dana bought me an Oyster Shucker a couple of months back.  It was for a bushel of Oysters that I ordered, that happened to come pre-shucked.  Creepy, I know.  So I finally got the chance to use it.  Shucking Oysters is rather simple.  It was a little menacing until I actually tried it.  It was simple.  Here are the quick and easy steps to opening an oyster.

Make sure the oyster is alive!  Make sure the shell is tightly closed, if it is a little open, tap it to see if the shell closes.  If it does not, throw it away.  Next rinse the outside with cold water.  Using a glove or a towel, grab the oyster.  Position the oyster so that the rounded bowl shape side is down toward your palm and the flatter half of the shell is up.

Insert the knife near the hinge

Insert the knife into the shell near the hinge.  It may take a couple of tries, but keep going until you find the opening. Once the knife is in the opening, twist to pop the oyster open.

Twist and Pop Open

Then using the knife, scrape the meat from the top shell into the bottom shell.  This will make sure that you have fully detached the muscle.

Oysters on the half shell

Serve with a little lemon, hot sauce and/or cocktail sauce.

Moules Fromage Bleu

With the mussels I wanted to make a dish that Dana and I had at Granville Moores.  They have an amazing Fromage Bleu Moules.  Basically a blue cheese mussel with bacon and spinach.  I know, Super tasty sounding.  I wish the internet allowed you taste and smell these mussels.  They were amazing!!

Blue Cheese Mussels – (From Teddy Folkman)

  • 1 1/4 pound rope-grown P.E.I. mussels
  • 4 tablespoons blended oil (40 percent extra-virgin olive oil, 60 percent canola oil)
  • 1/3 cup diced applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/4 cup mild, creamy blue
  • 1/3 cup white wine, preferably a dry Chardonnay
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup baby spinach, cleaned and destemmed
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • Black pepper, as needed
Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and it is slightly browned.  Do not overcook or brown the bacon!  Add the shallots and mussels and toss together.
Add the mussels
Add the white wine and lemon juice and toss together.
Add some lemon
When the mussels start to open, add half of blue cheese, melting it into the broth. As soon as all mussels are open, toss in the spinach. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Add some spinach, season and stir
Plate the mussels and top them with the remainder of the blue cheese. Serve with toasted slices of French baguette.
Top with a little extra blue cheese
These are some amazing mussels.  Dana and Kristy dug in and they barely lasted long enough for me to take a photo.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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