Eye Candy: Geoduck Crudo

geoduck spoons Chef Ethan Stowell served this hors d'oeuvre of geoduck with basil–avocado mousse and sliced radishes at his Beard House dinner in late January. Aided by his wife, staff from his various restaurants, and even Top Chef contestant and fellow Seattleite Ashley Merriman, Stowell put out a fantastic tasting of seaworthy dishes. See more photos of the evening here. (Photo by Michael Johnston)

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Recipe: Warm Oysters with Prosecco, Cauliflower, and Sorrel Soup

Warm Oysters with Prosecco, Cauliflower, and Sorrel Soup The indulgent pairing of oysters and Champagne is one that is often celebrated simply. But at tonight's Beard House dinner, Seattle chef Ethan Stowell will rearrange the duo into a luxurious soup, incorporating refreshing Prosecco, cauliflower, and bitter sorrel. Keep his simple recipe in mind for a low-key weekend dinner party. (If sorrel is not available, spinach or arugula make great substitutions.)

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Eat this Word: Geoduck

geoduck-1WHAT? Ugly duckling. "These are the most bizarre-looking of all clams (and perhaps all foods)," James Peterson writes in Fish & Shellfish of the geoduck, which makes its home in the Pacific Northwest. Waverly Root wasn't much kinder, describing it as a "clam so fat that it cannot close its shell." The bigger specimens of the world's largest burrowing clam weigh as much as 20 pounds, live as long as 150 years, and their neck, or siphon, extends by as much as three feet. They resemble…er…something not polite to write here. But odd-looking as they are, the geoduck has many admirers, culinary and otherwise. "Geoduck meat is delicious," Alan Davidson writes in The Oxford Companion to Food. The siphon meat is stirred into chowders and used for sushi; the body is sautéed. Asians pay as much as $30 per pound to dine on them, according to William Dietrich in the Seattle Times, who also explains that the name comes from the Nisqually Indian

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