The coastal razor clam digging season remains excellent, and is currently open at Long Beach with Mocrocks possibly seeing another round of digs next month.
In this week’s seafood recipe, Jason Brzozowy, executive chef of Maria Hines’ Tilth, has a delightful razor clam crudo recipe that will wow your guests at the dining table.
Brzozowy’s interest in food began at a young age from watching Jacques Pepin and Julia Child on PBS. Originally from Milwaukee, he briefly attended the University of Wisconsin before he moved to Chicago to pursue a career as a chef. After graduating from culinary school, he worked in several Chicago restaurants before moving to Seattle in 2007.
Brzozowy began working with Maria Hines at Tilth in 2008, and was quickly promoted to Chef de Cuisine. In 2012, he assumed the role of Executive Chef for Tilth, as well as Hines’ other restaurants, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce. He was named one of Seattle Met’s Rising Star Chefs in 2013.
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This season, esteemed local chefs will share recipes and advice on how to cook a wide variety of local seafood weekly from April through October. This year’s lineup of chefs: Tom Douglas, owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, among others; Chef Pat Donahue and other head chefs of Anthony’s Restaurants; chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura; executive chefs and head chefs from El Gaucho; Chef Shota Nakajima, owner of Naka; Jason Wilson, owner of Miller’s Guild; Chef Jun Takai, from Shiro’s Sushi; Taylor Hoang, from Pho Cyclo; Chef Maximillian Petty, from Eden Hill; and Chef Megan Coombes, from Altstadt.
Recipes will be posted every Wednesday and/or Thursday through Nov. 2. Also, if you have a recipe you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them, and will even test it out with my family and friends.
Razor Clam Crudo with Stinging Nettle “Salsa Verde” and Easter Egg Radish
(Executive Chef Jason Brzozowy with Maria Hines Restaurants – Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce)
Serves four; prep time: 30 minutes
2 cups of stinging nettles, leaves, packed
1 bunch of parsley
1/2 bunch of mint
1 lemon, zested and segmented
1 lime, zested
1 teaspoon chili flake
2 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
6-8 fresh razor clams
1 bunch of mixed Easter egg radishes
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season heavily with salt. Blanch the nettles until tender and bright green (about one minute). Remove the nettles and shock in ice water. Drain the nettles and squeeze out any remaining liquid.
2. Combine the nettles with the parsley, mint, lemon zest and segments, lime zest, chili flake, and garlic. Pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add olive oil and continue pulsing until mixture is combined and finely chopped. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. Shuck the razor clams, removing and cleaning the meat and reserving the shells. Thinly slice the meat. Mix with enough salsa verde to coat the clam meat. Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Clean the reserved shells and fill with the clam crudo. Garnish with thinly shaved easter egg radishes. Serve the filled shells on ice.
A word on razor clam digging
Digging is open Wednesday (April 27) through Thursday (April 28) at Long Beach. Digging is allowed during morning low tides only until noon each day.
More dates were tentatively announced for Long Beach on May 6-8, and state fisheries will likely add May dates for Mocrocks once they assess the latest round of digs that occurred this week.
Digging from Dec. 24 through April 12 has resulted in 255,839 digger trips harvesting 3,558,500 razor clams.
A breakdown by beach during that time frame shows Long Beach with 145,702 digger trips and 1,990,828 razor clams dug for an average of 13.7 clams per person (the first 15 dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit); Copalis with 62,899 and 853,079 for 13.6; and Mocrocks with 47,237 and 612,965 for 13.0.
Low tides: Wednesday, April 27, 0.1 at 10:39 a.m.; and Thursday, April 28, 0.3 at 11:28 a.m. More tentative dates will occur at Long Beach on May 6-8 with final approval likely by Thursday or Friday.