Shuckin’, Crackin’, and Peelin’ – Let’s Dish Shellfish!

shellfish

Our customers are always asking about seafood. So we wanted to share some settings for turning out perfect, tender-firm shellfish from a CVap®.

The delicate nature of shellfish requires extra care and attention during the cooking process. It is easy to overcook and sabotage the flavor and texture of your favorite mussel or clam. CVap is excellent for cooking shellfish because you have precise control over time and temperature. Below are some suggested settings for a variety of delicious crustaceans. 

  1. Select an ingredient and target temperature from the table below.
  2. Set CVap Vapor and Air to the same temperature. Legacy models will be set to temperature and have a zero differential.
  3. Prep shellfish as preferred* and then place in CVap for recommended temp and times.
shellfish
Shellfish Preparation Vapor/Air Time
Clams or Cockles
Blanched and Shucked
133° -135°
2 hours
Lobster Claws
Shelled
140°-154°
2 hours
Lobster Tails
Shelled
129°-145°
2 hours
Mussels
Blanched and Shucked
146°-149°
2 hours
Oysters
Shucked
118°-126°
2 hours
Razor Clams
Blanched and Shucked
140°-146°
2 hours
Scallops
Whole
122°-129°
2 hours
Shrimp (Prawns)
Peeled
140°-165°
2 hours

*Note that clams, cockles, mussels and razor clams should be par blanched in boiling water for two minutes and then removed from shells. Reserve shells if you prefer to serve the finished product in them.

For a different riff on cooking with clams, check out this recipe from Michelle Bernstein, Chef/Owner of Michy’s in Miami: Pork Belly with Sake Braised Clams, Bok Choy, and Shitakes, click here.

Got a favorite shellfish dish to share? We’d love to hear from you!

CVap® Operators Groups

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Seafood Feast for the Holidays!

fresh shrimp cooked in a CVap oven

Growing up, we had a Christmas Eve seafood feast tradition. I grew up near the water in South Florida. Fresh seafood was easy to access. It didn’t matter if we caught or trapped it ourselves, or had to buy it at a seafood market, it was readily available. Each year would be different, as we might have a traditional clam bake one year and fresh-caught yellowtails the next. I remember all of it like it was yesterday.

Now that I have a family of my own, I have carried on the tradition. Every year I prepare a seafood feast for our holiday guests. I live in Michigan now, and fresh seafood is not so readily available. However, my friends at the Erie Fish Market outside of Toledo, Ohio have made the process of getting fresh seafood much easier. Thanks to the guys at Erie!

holiday seafood feast

One of the perks of my job is having a CVap® CAC503 Cook & Hold Oven in my home kitchen. Over the years, I’ve cooked different seafood items in CVap, but never the whole shooting match. I decided to try and see just how much food I could cram into my little CAC503. My menu consisted of butter poached warm water lobster tail, jumbo snow crab legs, jumbo sea scallops, little neck clams, bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp, steamed oysters, corn on the cob, red skinned potatoes and a couple of strip steaks (for my weird wife who doesn’t like seafood).

strip steaks
lobster tails and shellfish

Into the Oven

My CAC503 was set to a low temp steam cycle with 100% humidity (doneness at 145 and browning at 0). ALL the seafood was prepped and loaded in the oven while my guests were arriving. Our party was going great, and the eggnog was flowing, which caused the seafood to be in my CVap oven a bit longer than I had originally planned (by two hours). However, when I removed the food, it was perfect! Even delicate dishes like fresh seafood can’t overcook in a CVap oven.

I asked some of my guests to sear the scallops, bacon wrapped shrimp, and steaks to finish them off. This was a fun way to get the foodies involved with the meal preparation. As they were searing these items, I placed some unsalted butter into the CVap to melt. After that I cut and seasoned the potatoes and put them back in to stay hot with the crab legs, lobster tails, clams and oysters.

searing scallops, tuna, and shrimp
sensational seafood

Digging In

Once everything was on the table the only sounds were crab legs cracking and forks scraping the plates. The food was cooked perfectly. Lobster was a perfect texture, crab legs were easy to crack and melted in your mouth. Steamed clams and oysters were very plump and juicy. Scallops had a texture that blew everyone away. The potatoes and corn even got high marks (I didn’t even try them as there was seafood to eat). My experiment was a complete success! I will be doing this again next year but of course with a different menu. Any suggestions?

On a side note, I went overboard preparing for this dinner and we had a lot of leftovers. We decided to make a mixture of lobster, crab, clams, scallops, shrimp, a couple dashes of lemon juice, fresh dill and parsley. I picked up some flounder at Erie Fish Market, prepped the fish, and topped with the seafood mixture. It was topped with Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. The seafood stuffed flounder was broiled until the top was brown and crispy. This was absolutely amazing! It was great to eat two amazing seafood dinners back to back. Try it, I bet you’ll like it.

the seafood feast is ready to eat

Blushing CVap Lobster and Shrimp Pasta

We wanted to make something comforting yet elegant, an al dente linguine tossed in a velvety blush sauce. First we cooked lobster tails and shrimp in a CVap® Cook and Hold Oven. The flavor and texture of the shellfish added a level of decadence to the dish that made it truly special. Let’s deconstruct it!

lobster tails cooked in CVap
shrimp cooked in CVap

First, the shellfish. A CVap Cook and Hold Oven steamed the lobster tails 200 + 0 for about seven minutes, bringing them to the perfect temperature and texture for this dish. We staged the shrimp in the same oven, at 135 + 2 for about ten minutes. This made the shrimp nearly – but not quite – opaque, and held it there.

We cooked traditional linguine while the shellfish was steaming. The pasta cooked to al dente, tossed with a bit of olive oil, and held in a CVap Holding Cabinet at 140 + 0 until we were ready to plate.

On to the sauce! We combined olive oil, garlic, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, salt, pepper, and fresh basilto create a classic marinara.

After that, we added heavy cream to create a gorgeous blush sauce.

linguine tossed with EVO
Marinara sauce
blush sauce

Mix It All Together

We removed the lobster tail meat and reserved the shells, along with the shrimp shells, to make stock later.

Meanwhile we cubed and stirred some of the meat into the blush sauce. The rest was set aside to be added whole.

We coated a portion of pasta we’d been holding with the seafood/sauce mixture…

shellfish shells saved for stock
lobster meat added to blush sauce
lobster meat on cutting board
Adding blush sauce to pasta

Plate It

Gilded the lily by crowning it with the whole piece of shellfish, a bit more sauce, and a garnish of fresh basil.

The natural sweet flavor of the shellfish really came through, complimented nicely by the simple blush sauce. And the fresh basil added just the right amount of bright, yet peppery foil to the richness of the overall dish.

shimp added to lobster blush pasta
Lobster blush pasta - the finished dish