This past Saturday, we went out to the coast to US Abalone and bought some farmed abalone. It was a bit of a surprise, because Bill refused to tell me where we were going, and I only realized his plan once we entered the driveway of the store/farm.
We got four medium-sized shellfish ($10 each) and had the salesclerk explain to us how to shuck the meat off the shells. Bill coooked 'em using a recipe he found online. We had pan-fried abalone with beurre blanc sauce, some steamed green beans, and lemon-parsley orzo. Verdict: YUM. It tasted a bit like clams, to be honest, but it was a lot better. The sauce was perfect with it. Even though the meal didn't look like much, we were full by the time we got done. Four medium-sized abalone is perfect for two people.
Along with the meal, we had a really nice bottle of McHenry pinot noir, 1980 vintage. (Yes, that's correct, 1980). We won it at a raffle from this year's Pinot Paradise. We were a bit apprehensive about the wine; we weren't sure how good (or bad) a 27-year-old pinot noir would be. It actually turned out to be very good. It still tasted fruity, wasn't too earthy, and was still quite alcohol-y. The only difference my untrained mouth could detect was that it had a little bit of a silky/oily mouthfeel.
Anyway, now I'm wondering if the wild stuff is really that much better...