If you read the previous post on Fruits de Mer, you may be interested in the recipe for cooking them. First, clean all of the shells you intend to include in the shell stew. Know your shells as some of them are definitely poisonous. Brush them thoroughly and rinse several times to remove the grit, sand and or any distasteful growths on the outer shells. In this case, the sea urchins were eliminated from the mix and I think the murex, small crabs, etc. got thrown back into the sea as well. Break the crown of the shells with a hammer to ensure the easy removal of meat later on. In a small covered pot, boil a little water, some sliced onion, lots of sliced ginger and add perhaps half a concentrated fish cube. Add all of the shells, some salt to taste, cover and boil for several minutes until they are all cooked. Stir occasionally to ensure that all the shells are cooked thoroughly. I am sure undercooking rather than overcooking might yield more tender meats but the crew like their shells seriously well done.
Transfer the shells from the broth onto a serving dish. Extract the meats of the shells with a toothpick or small seafood fork. I was amazed at how much meat was in relatively small sized shells. The foot or meat of the shells looked rather muscular and oddly, came in several distinct colors such as black, cream and khaki, all from the same shell. I had already eaten dinner and dessert so I didnâ€™t get to taste any of the shells. But they were described to me as being the â€œhard inside part of a balutâ€ or a â€œchewy seafood.â€ Hmmm, not sure I would run to the shore and start gathering my own just yet. At any rate, this is a high protein, tasty and extremely low cost meal with rice and I now better understand why I always see so many people foraging for these types of creatures at the sea shore!