Coastal Seafoods has last-minute Valentine's Day dinner ingredients

If you'd rather dine in than eat out on Valentine's Day--or simply forgot to make reservations--join the crowd. Coastal Seafoods estimates that sales double or triple around the holiday as eager customers rush in to purchase seafood for that special someone. Crab and lobster are big sellers, but oysters also top the list. I went in to buy the mid-Atlantic staple for an appetizer in tonight's big meal. Here's what I learned.

You'll want to buy your oysters at the last minute. They're living creatures that taste best when consumed within 24 hours of purchase, stored in a mesh bag in the refrigerator.

Coastal Seafoods offers a wide variety of fresh oysters from both the East and West coasts, along with $6 oyster knives (though a sturdy but dull knife can be used in a pinch). I have never shucked my own oysters, so fishmonger Jakob Erikson offered a tutorial: Wrap a towel and fold it over your hand, insert the tip of the knife into the hinge at the tip of the oyster shell, and twist it to get the top portion of the shell off. After it pops open, separate the oyster meat from the shell by scraping. Take special care not to spill the liquid, known as liquor, inside the oyster, which has a wonderful flavor and is part of the experience.

Recipes for Oyster Rockefeller and other dishes are available on Coastal Seafoods' website.
Coastal Seafoods has two locations: 2330 Minnehaha Avenue South in Minneapolis and 74 South Snelling in St. Paul. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

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Coastal Seafoods

74 Snelling Ave. S.
St. Paul, MN 55105


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