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What about Conch?

SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
edited 2:35AM in EggHead Forum
Hi All,[p]I can obtain fresh caught conch (both smooth and rough shelled). I would get them directly from the boat and still in the shell. I have a few questions that I hope you guys can answer.[p]Is one type preferred over the other? How do you get the buggers out of the shell? Suggestions on cooking? Any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated.[p]Thanks,
Spin

Comments

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Spin,[p]I found out how to open them![p]Spin

    [ul][li]Opening a conch[/ul]
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Spin, you are adventurous. First, you really don't get them out of the shell. You remove the shell from around them. There are a few who know how to cut a hole in the top of the shell and by poking from that end, entice the conch to exit the other end. However, the only way I have seen a "newbie" do it is to totally destroy the shell. Then you must be careful to wash the shell pieces out of the meat. Then, once you have the critter out comes the question of how to prepare it. Most recipes I have seen call for cutting it up or for beating it with a mallet until tender. [p]Conch chowder is great. Fried conch can be an adventure in good eating. Marinated conch can give you something to chew on for hours. They're all good but it's not the easiest thing to prepare. I suggest doing it the first time along side someone who has done it before. That way you can ask the questions as they arise. I hate to be so negative (because the conch I have eaten was tasty) but my only experience at preparing it was somewhat disasterous. I wound up with shell particles in the meat and my wife refused to eat it. I spent the better time of my meal picking the pieces out as I ate. Good luck.[p]

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Wise One,[p]Thank you sir. Pizza was an adventure and I like adventure in cooking. If it doesn't work out as planned (or hoped), there is always take out ;-).[p]The clam boats here (New Jersey) dredge a small amount of them up and they go to the crew, who sell them unshelled at 60 cents a pound off the boat. The link I found (above) suggests a method of removing the meat that avoids the mouthful of crunch. The recipe on the link uses a lime marinade to cook the meat - I don't want to start with that one :-).[p]Do you have a conch chowder recipe?[p]Spin[p]

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Spin,
    Here is a recipe for conch chowder,let me know if you try it.
    Larry [p] [p]
    Want to see your banner here? [p]
    Recipe Archives->Soups->[p] Coconut
    Conch Chowder
    Conch Chowder 02[p][p] From: Joel.Ehrlich@salata.com (Joel Ehrlich)
    Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes
    Subject: Conch Recipe
    Date: 19 May 1995 04:18:31 -0600
    Organization: Salata
    Message-ID: <b74_9505180900@salata.com> [p]
    Well there are conch and there are conch. They vary in size. And a
    conch should not be confused with a whelk. Conch are usually larger
    than whelk.[p] There is a wonderful dish made from large conch in Key West (where the
    inhabitants refer to themselves as Conch). It's called Conch Chowder.
    The recipe follows.[p] Conch Chowder No. 2557 Yields 6 Servings[p] 6 Slices Bacon, Sliced 2 Tbls Worcestershire Sauce
    1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped 2 Tbls Butter
    1/4 Cup Sweet Red Pepper, 1 Lb Conch Meat, Ground
    Diced 2 Tbls Bread Crumbs
    2 Tomatoes, Peeled, 2 Cups Half & Half
    Seeded & Diced - Salt
    3 Cups Water - Black Pepper, Ground
    2 Carrots, Diced 1/2 tsp Allspice
    3 Potatoes, Washed & - Tabasco Sauce
    Diced[p] Fry the bacon, onion and red pepper in a heavy pan until transparent.
    Add the tomatoes, water, carrots, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, butter and
    conch meat. Simmer for 45 minutes.
    Add the bread crumbs, half & half and seasonings.
    Simmer for another 15 minutes. Add Tabasco sauce to taste.
    Serve hot.[p] Joel

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Thanks YB,[p]Sue and I both like how the recipe reads (already printed). We will try this, if we can get them out of the shells.[p]I received an email that suggested the conch will exit the shell on its own if placed on concrete and surrounded with peas. It seems conch love peas :-).[p]Spin

  • KansasKansas Posts: 11
    Spin,[p]Years ago, I was on a sailboat with 4 other guys in the
    Bahamas. This was my first trip, but two of them were old hands. On this trip we found some conch and had great conch chowder and conch fritters. I was glad I was inexperienced at the preparation. Getting them out wasn't bad as they knew where to put the hole in the shell to dislodge it. The next part was the tough part. You have to skin it. This is quite difficult and the experienced ones do it with their teeth. You may think I am fabricating this and I am a fisherman, but this is the whole truth. Good luck with the prepartion.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    YB, OK, I now feel obligated to try to help Spin out since I couldn't redirect him. Here are two easy ones:
    Conch Italian Style
    4 conch cleaned and boiled for 20 minutes in saltwater
    1 large onion, sliced
    2 packages dry spaghetti sauce mix
    1/2 cup red wine
    1 teaspoon each parsley and oregano
    salt and pepper[p]Slice conch into 1 inch strips. Saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add conch and saute 5 minutes. Prepare sauce according to package directions, [Note: this recipe came from a sailing cookbook. You might just use two cups prepared spaghetti sauce.] then add to conch and onions. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 20 minutes and serve over spaghetti.[p]CONCH STEW
    1 doz conchs (boil and clean; run through a meat chopper)
    1/2 lb. beef stew meat
    1 qt milk
    1 lb salt pork
    1 lb chopped carrots
    1 lb chopped potatoes
    1 lb chopped onion
    1 lb chopped celery
    1 qt water[p]Fry salt pork. Set aside saving the grease. Saute all the vegetables. Add conch and water. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Prior to serving, add milk.[p]Good luck.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    YB, OK, I now feel obligated to try to help Spin out since I couldn't redirect him. Here are two easy ones:
    Conch Italian Style
    4 conch cleaned and boiled for 20 minutes in saltwater
    1 large onion, sliced
    2 packages dry spaghetti sauce mix
    1/2 cup red wine
    1 teaspoon each parsley and oregano
    salt and pepper[p]Slice conch into 1 inch strips. Saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add conch and saute 5 minutes. Prepare sauce according to package directions, [Note: this recipe came from a sailing cookbook. You might just use two cups prepared spaghetti sauce.] then add to conch and onions. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 20 minutes and serve over spaghetti.[p]CONCH STEW
    1 doz conchs (boil and clean; run through a meat chopper)
    1/2 lb. beef stew meat
    1 qt milk
    1 lb salt pork
    1 lb chopped carrots
    1 lb chopped potatoes
    1 lb chopped onion
    1 lb chopped celery
    1 qt water[p]Fry salt pork. Set aside saving the grease. Saute all the vegetables. Add conch and water. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Prior to serving, add milk.[p]Good luck.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Spin, and I'll pass along one other recipe that comes from a cookbook from the Netherlands Antilles:
    SOPI di CARCO (Conch Soup)
    Wash and trim: 1 lb conch
    Dry the conch thorroughly , then pound it with a floured wooden mallet.
    Rub the conch with: 2 TBS lime juice
    Cut the conch into bite-size pieces and set aside for later use.
    In a heavy kettle bring to a brisk boil: 1 1/2 qts chicken broth, 1 peeled tomato, 1 sliced onion, 1 sliced green pepper, 1 clove garlic slivered, sprig of fresh basil.[p]Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove broth from fire and strain discarding vegetables. Return broth to the fire and add: 1 cup diced carrots.
    Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add: the conch, salt and pepper, 4 oz vermicelli, 4-6 drops of Tobasco sauce.
    Simmer an additional 10 minutes or just until the conch is tender. Do not overcook or the conch will lose its succulence.[p]Goot eating.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Kansas,[p]I believe you. Cleaning a monkfish requires three hands (and a baseball bat). I do hope the conch skin tastes better :-).[p]Thank you. This should be a true adventure.[p]Spin
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Wise One,[p]Thanks for the recipes.[p]I have the entire joy of freely experimenting with food and cooking on the Egg. It is one of my hobbies and the one my wife supports 100%. She claims the responsibilty of making sure we do get fed. She encourages my experimentation as we also have the agreement that whoever can make it better, cooks. It does seem that my play time has diminished a bit. I cook 99% on the Egg and she has yet to cook on them. We both have benefited.[p]This looks like some fun. Thanks for the warnings and all the help.[p]Spin[p]

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Wise One,[p]Printed and thanks again.[p]Spin

  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    Spin,
    "Conch ain't got no bone, mon" and "Rum make you glad, mon" are Appledog mantras. I have some truly wonderful conch recipes, but none have anything to do with grilling or smoking. The wheels are turning but I'm still thinkin' that you can't miss with a good conch fritter, fried, and a Beck's Light (Light aka Dribeck) or a Kalik or even a Red Stripe, Presidente or Medalla. It's lookimg like winter here and I'm ready to bolt..., Su amiga, Julia.

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    J Appledog,[p]My favorite conch preparation is a ceviche-like salad encountered in the Caribbean - lots of orange/lemon in the marinade, along with sliced onions and jalapenos or the Scoville equivalent. (I'm sure the conch was cooked, maybe forever, before marination.) If you have a recipe for something like this, I'd be most grateful. [p]I love the fritters too, and once ate some awesome stewed conch on Anguilla, but it's the above that haunts me...[p]Cathy

  • GaDawgGaDawg Posts: 178
    Cat,
    On a dive trip to Belize several hundred years ago ( ok 20 years ago ), six of us harvested about 15 "queen conch". These have beautiful shells and are about the size of a football. The cook on the boat made fritters out of half of them. These were excellent. The rest were made "ceviche". All he did was perform the magical extraction and skin removal, then slice thin and marinate in lime juice, onions and cillantro. They went into the refrigerator for an hour or so and we ate them. They were fantastic, no cooking at all. Evidently, citric acid will "cook" fish. Give it a try, however, you want the white fleshed - warm water conch, not the grey fleshed - cold water "tulip conch".[p]Chuck

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    GaDawg,[p]Thanks! If I find the right stuff I'll give it a try.[p]Cathy
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    J Appledog,[p]If you would be so kind as to pass on your favorite fritter recipe, I'd surely appreciate it. Becks would be nice with them. Thank you.[p]Spin[p]

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Spin,
    Here is one for conch fritters,time to leave to watch the ball game.[p]Larry

    [ul][li]Conch Fritters[/ul]
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    Spin,[p]"Sucks to your ass-mar!*"[p]*In case you haven't read it, please don't take offense to my response. Just had to make the silly reference to my high school reading list book.[p]Literaturefed
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    Cornfed,[p]Lord of the Flies, that is.[p]Cornfed
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