But before we get to that, here's a super quick and easy recipe to get the grilling season off the ground. Just make sure that you get good fresh shellfish - and the easiest way to do that (if you're not already an expert) is to use a dedicate fishmonger. Next best, the fish counter at a high(er) end grocery like Whole Foods or a local/regional specialty market. Worst case, ask the guy at your supermarket what's freshest.
Grill Smoked Shellfish
Wood chips for smoking - apple, cherry or maple are good choices for this dish
1 pound mussels
1 pound clams
2 pounds medium shrimp - shells on
1 lime, zest and juice
Red pepper flakes
- Soak one cup of wood chips in water for 20-30 minutes, while grill heats.
- Add chips to a smoking basket or wrap in aluminum foil and pierce with a fork several times. If using foil wrapped, place chip package directly on hot coals. Replace the grill grate.
- Dump about 1/3 of the seafood directly on the grill, and cover with a large stainless steel bowl (or a big tent to foil would work too). You want to trap the smoke and heat inside. Cook for about 3 minutes, until shells open and shrimp is barely cooked.
- Remove cooked fish and repeat for other two thirds of fish.
- Combine lime zest, juice, pepper flakes, herbs (I used fennel tops and mint). Add olive oil at 2-3 times the amount of lime juice. Add salt and pepper, then toss with fish.
Serving suggestion - make triple the viniagrette, toss it with very small pasta like orzo, acini de pepe or stellina. Use shells from mussels and clams as a makeshift scoop / spoon to eat the pasta.