For Your Next Party: The Shellfish Course

shellfish course
the yellow course:
colossal shrimp & littleneck clams

sherry brandy lobster sauce with corn, tarragon, parsley
toasted baguette

shellfish course

Now here’s another dish from our fundraiser dinner held last weekend. Shrimp and clams in the bright yellow broth make a stunning presentation, while sherry, brandy and tarragon give it unique flavors. This course is terrific for entertaining as both the shrimp and lobster stock can be prepared ahead of time. To serve – the clams are cooked in the stock, removed and kept warm while corn, cream and herbs are added to finish the broth which, by the way, is heavenly.

table setting, centerpieces

Believe it or not, the idea for this menu came to me in a dream. I definitely dream in color… The idea is that the appetizer course, which is plated on a large tray for guests to help themselves, is all-colors. Then when the guests are seated for dinner each individual course is a single color. The shellfish course was the “yellow course” while the previous post of Sturgeon Two Ways was the “purple course.” The recipes for the “green course” a chilled soup of Sugar Snap Pea & Mint, and the “pink course” Fettuccine with Beet Syrup, and “orange course” Mango & Lime Cream Vol-au-Vent have been posted on Taste With The Eyes previously.


all-color appetizer course
banh mi canapes
french bread, sriracha aioli, cinnamon meatloaf, radish, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, jalapeno, marigold

green course
chilled fresh snap pea and mint soup, avocado, lime, heirloom tomato, green cactus tortilla, sour cream, chili oil

purple course
purple potato, smoked sturgeon, creme fraiche, caviar,
society garlic flower

yellow course
shrimp, littleneck clams, corn, sherry brandy lobster sauce,
toasted baguette

pink course
egg fettuccine, beet syrup, candy stripe beets, red cabbage,
red onion, bucheron goat cheese

black course
braised short rib, shiitake, grape leaves, oaxacan mole,
black mission figs, black sesame seed, sesame ash, cocoa nibs

orange course
mango and lime cream vol-au-vent,
panna cotta with mango coulis

lori lynn’s homemade limoncello

colossal shrimp

The Shellfish Course Recipe (serves 16)

  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 8 small shallots, finely diced
  • 1 c. sherry
  • 1 c. brandy
  • 12 c. lobster stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 t. turmeric (for yellow color)
  • 80 live littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 3 c. frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 c. cream
  • 3/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1/4 c. chopped tarragon, plus more springs for garnish
  • 48 colossal shrimp (cleaned, cooked, peeled, tail-on)
  • salt and pepper to taste

chef chopping tarragon

Heat oil in a large sauce pan, sauté shallot until soft. Increase heat to high, add sherry and brandy, cook until almost completely evaporated. Add lobster stock, bring to a boil, and reduce slightly. Add turmeric. Divide  stock into two pots to facilitate the cooking of the clams. Add half the clams to each pot, cover, and cook until clams open their shells. Discard clams that do not open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer clams to a large pot and keep warm.

Add the corn to the broth and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes, then add the cream and simmer for a few minutes. Finally add the herbs. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. (Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay).

Place 5 clams and 3 shrimp in each soup bowl. Ladle hot lobster broth with corn over the shellfish. Garnish with a few sprigs of tarragon. Serve with toasted baguette slices brushed with olive oil to sop up the fabulous broth. And be sure to serve this course with an extra bowl on the side for the clam shells and shrimp tails.

Extending our gratitude to generous hosts, John & Tracy.

The Team

Merci beaucoup!

20 thoughts on “For Your Next Party: The Shellfish Course”

  1. GLorious food! Love the color idea for courses. The table is perfect, the flowers adorable. WHat a dinner it must have been!

  2. Gorgeous shellfish! And your table setting is so elegant! I love the concept of the colors, will have to check out what you’ve posted already and looking forward to more courses.

  3. I was one of the lucky attendees of this fundraiser dinner! It was INCREDIBLE and AMAZING!
    No words can do it justice. I am still dreaming about all of the tastes of every single course.
    Having Lori and her crew was an absolute delight! Thank you Lori and crew!

  4. Love the table setting. Our Farm2School program used a color theme in a project for K – 4.
    We called it “Eat a Rainbow” to teach the kids the importance of eating fruits and veggies of every color. Each station they attended was hands – on and demonstrated how to grow and cook food. The final station was a beautiful array of chopped fruits and veggies and the kids made shish kabob! Not quite as sophisticated as your amazing meal, but fun and yummy.

  5. Wow…LL, what a gorgeous dish! Even using the same ingredients, I don’t think I can come up with this delicious meal, honestly! So happy to be here and learned this dish. I hope to recreate this dish one day.

  6. This is so amazing and inspired! Your food definitely looks like it belongs in a magazine spread, and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

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