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Officials with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries have set October 15th as the official start of oyster season. Here are some quick facts to get you ready for a very delicious time of year.
Oysters are some of the hardest working animals in the ocean. An adult oyster is capable of filtering 25-50 gallons of water a day! Check out this time lapse video from Florida Oceanographic Institute of a tank of oysters cleaning water.
They don’t just filter water. Oyster reefs shelter fish and crabs, and with filtered water comes more seagrass, which is a feeding and breeding ground for other species that we love to eat such as finfish and shellfish.
Most N.C. oysters are harvested at three years of age, at the minimum harvest size of three inches. In the early stages of an oyster’s life, it is carried about by currents. As it matures, the oyster sinks to the bottom. To survive, the oyster must land on a hard surface. That is why they are found growing together in clumps or rocks.
Oysters in the early 19th century were widely consumed by mostly working class individuals. As their demand grew, oyster beds began to dry up, and the prices for these bivalves continued to rise.
Today, most varieties of oysters can be consumed, and many types can be eaten raw or "on the half-shell."
Oysters can be steamed, roasted or grilled, and they are commonly fried, particularly in southern sections of the United States.
Look for more information on great cooking tips for oysters in upcoming newsletters.
This time of year it's more important than ever to have a good cocktail sauce on hand. In Motts Channel Seafood's Pantry we sell a variety of fabulous cocktail sauces made for fresh seafood.
This perfect accompaniment to oysters is crafted in the Carolinas and is all natural, fat free, gluten free and contains no high fructose corn syrup.
Add a bottle or two to your basket next time you stop by!
Anna from Lighthouse Beer and Wine offers up three of her suggested wine pairings to serve with oysters. All three of these wines are available at their store located at 220 Causeway Drive.
Chateau La Berriere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine or just "Chateau La Berriere Muscadet" is fresh and floral with crisp acidity. The wine is made from Melon de Bourgogne, not the Muscat grape. It has notes of bright and refreshing salinity, not sweetness. This wine was made to be paired with oysters and at $10.99 it won't break the bank.
Gruet Blanc de Noir is elegant and bright. Bubbles are the best! This sparkling wine is made from pinot noir, and it's rich and creamy. Juicy, explosive raspberry notes round out this wine which is perfect for pairing with oysters or any shellfish. Grab a bottle for $15.99.
Dave Phinney Corse
This 100% Vermentino is lively and crisp with a blossoming floral nose. It is intensely aromatic with an excellent acidity to brighten up some briny oysters. Flavors of fresh green apples complemented by undertones of Thai basil are complex and bright! At $19.99 this wine over delivers for the price.
This is our final Seafood Recipe Contest runner-up winner. Dana reminds us that sometimes simple ingredients can come together and make a delicious meal. She also includes a tasty recipe for homemade tartar sauce.
Fresh white fish fillets such as Motts Channel Seafood Sheepshead, Flounder or Grouper
1 cup of your choice of potato chips
1 cup flour
1/4 inch (in skillet) your choice of oil
Fillet your chosen fish into thin cutlets (no skin or bones).
Dredge in buttermilk with a splash of hot sauce (Tabasco works fine) and let them sit for a few minutes while making the crust.
Combine in a food processor your favorite potato chips (I prefer something plain, light and crisp like Cape Cod brand, unseasoned or flavored/seasoned to your taste) with an equal part flour (about 1 cup of each). Process until the mixture is like bread crumbs.
In a skillet, heat 1/4″ of your preferred oil (Canola works well).
Take fish fillets from the buttermilk and toss lightly or dip into the potato chip/flour mixture to coat them.
Lay the fillets into the oil and cook until done. Use medium flame so as not to overcook the potato chips. Gently remove with tongs or a fork and drain on paper towels.
Homemade Tarter Sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tsp red onion, chopped
1 Tsp green onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine and chill overnight.
Starting Sunday, November 1st
our winter store hours will be
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
seven days a week.
Come see why Star News readers have voted us Best Seafood Market
for 2013 and 2014!