Yesterday a reader inquired about a recipe for coquina chowder. The following one comes from the "Yellow Cookbook" and was submitted by Ren Dunlap:
"Wash 2 quarts of coquinas, then add 2 c. water and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and save only the liquid. Dice and cook: 1 fair sized potato, 2 carrots, and 1 rib of celery. Fry: 2 strips of bacon (crisp) and 1 sliced onion (medium-sized). Combine everything with a dash of salt and pepper."
If you do an Internet search you will find a number of similar recipes. Most suggest that you discard the meat of the coquina. If I remember correctly, when we made coquina chowder many years ago we extracted the meat and used it in the chowder, but it was a long, arduous task. It was tasty though!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of a few traditional Ocracoke Island recipes. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052112.htm.