Pasta with trout roe and sea clam adductor muscle

Planning to make this one at home?  I thought not. 

My friend Rick, who I’m glad to say is both the manager of my local farmer’s market and a frequent Starving commenter, sent me an e-mail the other day.  It was just the kind of e-mail I love to get.  “Tamar,” he said, “I’ve got two containers of sea clam adductor muscles.  You want one?”

Rick must have known the answer.  When Kevin and I dropped by his house to pick them up, he told me that people call them “poor man’s scallops,” and that he was planning to cook his scallop-style, sauteeing them in olive oil.  But we were equally inexperienced in dealing with sea clam addutor muscle cuisine, and we agreed to compare notes afterward.

Just to see what I was dealing with, I sauteed one.  It tasted mild and a little briny, but I have to say it was on the chewy side.  I decided to grind them, rather than using them whole, and it worked beautifully.  I sauteed a whole head of garlic, added some chicken stock, and let it cook down.  Then I added ground sea clams, the brined roe, and some sour cream and half-and-half.  A couple handfuls of arugula finished it off.

It was delicious.  It didn’t taste clammy — it was mostly garlic and arugula, with a mysterious meaty back. 

Thanks, Rick.  You know who to call next time someone gives you something really weird to cook with.  But now you have to tell me what you did!

2 people are having a conversation about “Pasta with trout roe and sea clam adductor muscle

  1. Having never cooked poor man’s scallops I sauted a few just with salt and pepper, to see what they were like. Sweet, scallop-like, pleasant, but chewy just like you said. Already having something planned for dinner, I froze the rest for another day. I figured I would chopped them down a bit and serve them with linguine, when I get around to it. I like the idea of grinding them though, I will report back when I get around to doing something yummy with them.

    Obviously, I already know who to call when someone gives me something weird to eat.

  2. Rick — So you were thinking along the same lines, eh? I can definitely recommend the grinder. It would make the base of a great clam sauce if you added some littlenecks. It’s possible that freezing may tenderize them a bit — I have a theory that the breakdown in cell walls that happens when you freeze something can do tough things some good. I haven’t tested that theory in any rigorous way, of course, but I may get to it one of these days. Thanks again for the weird food!

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