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Join us with chef Tommy Klauber, of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, as we take a field trip to harvest fresh local clams with family owned Two Docks Shellfish. Then head back in the kitchen at USF Culinary Innovation Lab as chef Klauber prepares a lemongrass clam pan roast with green curry.
Two Docks Shellfish operates an aquaculture farm just north of Sarasota. The company was founded by Aaron Welch Jr. and his son, Aaron Welch III. The Welchs raise seed clams that they plant in bags at the bottom of Terra Ceia Bay. Two Docks Shellfish leases a large plot of the bay floor including the six inches of water column above the bottom.
After about a year in the bay, the bags are ready to harvest. Throughout the year the clams will burrow the bags down into the sediment where they feed. Aaron III takes routine dives to monitor the clams' growth and check for signs of predators. New bags are planted at regular intervals to ensure weekly harvests of fully grown little neck, middle neck and top neck clams.
Upon harvest, the bags are rigged to long lines and pulled up from the bay bottom using a winch. Each bag is emptied into a basket and then dredged back through the water to purge the clams of sediment. Once the clams are clean they are processed through a tumbler to sort out empty shells and the occasional crab.
The suitable clams are sorted and bagged by size, and each bag is tagged with tracking information to identify the source location information.
Two Docks Shellfish harvests fresh clams weekly and delivers their locally sourced, sustainable seafood to area restaurants and retail outlets, including chef Klauber's Polo Grill and Bar in Lakewood Ranch.
Scroll down for an instructional video on how to prepare a lemongrass clam pan roast.
Lemongrass clam pan roast
4 ounces fresh clams
1 ounce green curry paste
8 ounces coconut milk
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon, fresh lemongrass, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
4 Kaffir lime leaves, chopped
4 ounces spinach leaves
4 ounces diced carrots, zucchini and yellow squash
4 ounces fish stock
2 ounces olive oil
4 key limes, to garnish
2 ounces soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation (serves 4):
Heat oil in saute pan. Add curry paste to pan and dissolve in oil. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add clams to pan and saute until shells begin to open. Add the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Serve over coconut jasmine rice and garnish with halved key limes.
Click here to READ MORE about the USF Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch.
For more information about the Two Docks Shellfish company, click here.
For more In the Kitchen videos, click here.
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