Never Too Late to Learn… the Demo Center at Healthy Living Market

You know that I can’t get enough writing, reading, recipe developing, researching, cooking and eating food….. so, when I heard about the classes offered at Healthy Living Market and Café, of course, this pescetarian signed up for Kitchen Confidence: Mussels & Clams.  I was directed to the demo center in the center of the fresh produce section of the store and greeted by Christina Davis, the coordinator of the demos in the Saratoga store. We were a small and eclectic group of students, all of whom seemed to be veterans of the demonstration classes, making it comfortable and relaxed for this newbie.   Our instructor, for this class, was Karen Dunham, a CIA graduated who has been with the market since it’s opening about three years ago. She is the Seafood Replenishment Buyer & Supervisor.  She took on three recipes in our hour long class and still had time to answer all our questions (with a smile) about the proper way to clean mussels, clam sizes and their sweetness.  She also demonstrated how to shuck clams for serving on the half shell. (The seafood department will shuck clams for you to take home if you give them a little advanced notice.)

Karen Dunham, Seafood Replenishment Buyer and Supervisor

Karen Dunham, Seafood Replenishment Buyer and Supervisor

My favorite recipe/preparation was the Clams in Foil for the Grill or Oven.  I am always trying to find the best way to have my husband cook on the grill!  Here is Karen’s recipe:

1# of clams – cleaned

1/4 lemon sliced

1 tablespoon shallots – finely diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon garlic

1 sprig of thyme

A large piece of foil about 14×14

Preheat your grill or oven to 450 degrees.  Place your clams in the center of the foil and pull the foil up and around the clams to make a pocket leaving a small opening in the top for adding your remaining ingredients.  Add the wine, butter, garlic, lemon slices, thyme and shallot. Seal top and place on grill for 10 to 15 minutes until clams open. If using the oven, place your foil pouch on a cookie sheet first.  Serve with crusty bread to soak up the yummy broth.   If a clam does not open do not eat it…. it wasn’t meant to be.

clams me
We were served all of the dishes that Karen demonstrated with slices of beautiful artisan bread and bottles of sparkling Saratoga water. The cost of this class? Free! Education and lunch! The Saratoga location has classes offered at least four times a month. To visit their website for up and coming demo classes click here and I will see you there….I heard a rumor about cheese pairing…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *