Scallops and Clams – smoked of course

We love shellfish and fish!

Yes, even the kids dig into these delicious creatures and will happily ask for seconds and thirds.  In fact, if it wasn’t so bloody expensive, we would eat fish more often.  It’s healthy, it provides natural salts and certain fish have excellent oils for your body.  Many fish do not require any herbs or spices and are fairly simple to prepare.

Perhaps it is a good reason to start fishing with the family.  Catching our own fish, bring them home, clean them, and prepare them.  That would really teach the kids some valuable life lessons.

Unfortunately, we live far from the ocean, but we can still catch great fish in local lakes and rivers.  We just need to plan our fishing trips in advance and explore the maps and local fishing sites to see where we can go.

Simple shrimp on bread

In Denmark, we eat shrimp throughout the summer.  Some families go to great lengths to catch shrimps themselves, but I think it is better (and easier) to support your local fishermen and fishmonger and buy locally caught shrimps.

I remember sitting on the porch with my family and neighbors, boiling shrimps, and then peel the shrimps you wanted to eat.  You simply peeled a handful, which takes patience and plenty of time, and put them on a slice of white bread, on top of a slice of fresh lettuce.  We would sprinkle a little lemon juice, grinds of pepper, and top it off with some mayo.

Delicious!  Nothing beats eating shellfish on a nice warm summer afternoon and evening.  It brings me back fond memories of my childhood.  I want to share these experiences with our kids and create their own childhood memories of great foods.

Last weekend, while celebrating Memorial Day, we substituted the traditional burgers, ribs, and coleslaw with a light shellfish dinner; scallops and clams served with white wine and garlic sauce, and quinoa pasta.

Yes, we are riding the healthy train and reducing the intake of regular pasta.

Please remember, you do not need to add salt to any shellfish or fish meal.  These creatures contain plenty of natural salts, which get added during the cooking process.

We purchased a large bag of clams and about a pound of scallops at the local fishmonger, and a cheap bottle of white wine.  We already have the rest of the ingredients.

So, how do you prepare this dish?

I’m glad you asked and will share our approach here, including the additional ingredients.  It is not complicated at all, and you can cook this on your stovetop or your pellet grill.  Today, we are using the latter.

For the clams:

  • 1 large bag of clams, roughly 2lbs – washed
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of white wine (your choice)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 teaspoons of crushed garlic (glass)
  • A few grinds of black pepper

For the scallops:

  • 1lb of fresh scallops – should yield 3-4 per person
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic (glass)
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley

Let’s get cooking

The beauty of using a pellet grill is that your pots and pans will not get charred.

Now, to actually prepare the smoked clam dish in your Traeger, simply put all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven.

  1. I like to start with the clams, placing them in the Dutch oven
  2. Sprinkle the dry spices and precut ingredients over the clams
  3. Pour over the wine, lemon juice, and water so they mix all ingredients into the clams naturally
  4. Preheat your Traeger (or another pellet grill) to 400F
  5. Place the Dutch oven on the grill, in the center
  6. It should bake/cook for about 40-50 minutes

As we are cooking the scallops as well set the timer to about 30 minutes

The scallops need a lot less cook time

  1. Place them on a cast iron pan, again, with all the ingredients.
  2. When the 30-minute timer goes off, put the scallops into the Traeger next to the clams.  You may need to adjust the placing a little, to make room for both Dutch oven and cast iron pan.
  3. Check on the scallops after 7-8 minutes, and flip them on the pan.

While both shellfish dishes are cooking, boil some pasta of your choice, and set aside.

When the clams are ready, which you can determine if they are all open, then you remove them from the pot – do NOT discard the sauce!


For the sauce

In a large pan, with high sides, put:

  1. 4 tablespoons of butter
  2. Mixed with a small handful of freshly chopped parsley
  3. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  4. Add two tablespoons of flour
  5. Gently heat up the butter and start mixing it so it becomes a paste
  6. Add a little sauce from the clams, 2-3 tablespoons
  7. Add 1/2 cup of white wine
  8. Add more liquids as you see fit
  9. Do not overdue the liquids as you want the sauce thick enough so it sticks to the pasta
  10. Once at the right consistency, add the pasta and mix it with the sauce

Serve the pasta on plates or bowls, then add some open clams and a few scallops on top.

Voila! A lovely fresh summer dish

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