- 1. Choose clams with shells that are steely gray, not chalky white, which is a sign of age. If the clam is open, pinch the shells together. If they don’t stay closed, discard the clam. Never use clams with cracked shells.
- 2. Buy lobsters that are lively and that have hard, dark shells, and don’t believe the myth that small lobsters are sweeter than large ones.
- 3. Select fresh, firm whole fish with red gills, clear eyes and smooth, unblemished skin with a bright sheen.
- 4. Buy fillets that are moist, with shiny, almost translucent flesh. They should be firm and have a clean sea smell. Never buy fish that is sitting in water.
- 5. Keep fresh fish and shellfish refrigerated at all times. The coolest part of most refrigerators is at the back of the bottom shelf, which should be 38° or lower.
- 6. Cut fish with a very sharp knife; the fragile flesh can tear easily.
- 7. Make stock using the well-rinsed heads, bones and trimmings of haddock, cod, flounder, sole, bass or halibut.