Happy Friday! This Easy Summer Kitchen Clambake is here just in time for Father’s Day weekend! Now you can spoil dad (and the whole fam) with a one-pot seafood feast with lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, potatoes, corn, and chorizo perfectly steamed in a bottle of chardonnay.
When it comes to regionally-inspired food, New England is synonymous with mouthwatering lobster rolls, chowder, and clambakes. They are fabulous feasts meant to make you slow down, roll up your sleeves, and enjoy family and friends. And as much as I love our time spent on the Cape over the years, you can pull off this memorable meal wherever you call home. All you really need for this streamlined version, with no digging required, is a big lobster pot, fresh seafood, a good white wine, and those you want to share it all with.?
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How to Make an Easy Summer Kitchen Clambake
The key to any successful clambake or crawfish boil, as they’re called in the south, is fresh seafood. Be sure to head to fishmongers and quality markets you trust with a solid reputation of offering super fresh seafood.
Tips for Buying & Storing Seafood
- When it comes to clams and mussels I opt for those smaller in size. The smallest clams from the Atlantic are littlenecks and medium-sized ones are cherrystones. Littlenecks are more tender and sweet, and the same goes for mussels.
- If the clams and mussels smell like anything other than the sea, go somewhere else. Also, closed shells are a sign of freshness. They should be clamped shut. If the shells are gaped slightly, tap them on the counter and they should close quickly. Discard any that remain open. Chuck any with broken shells as well.
- When you get your clams, mussels and lobsters home, let them breathe! They’re still alive and will suffocate in any closed plastic bags. Place them in a bowl loosely covered with a wet dishtowel and refrigerate until ready to prep.
- Make sure the clams and mussels are well rinsed, and mussels debearded if needed, before going in the lobster pot.
Cooking the Clambake
Layering the ingredients is another key to a successful clambake. Start with a base layer of coarsely chopped onions, leeks and whole cloves of garlic. This trio adds lots of flavor to the broth. Next, you’ll layer in the sausages and potatoes, which will keep the seafood from settling on the bottom of the pot.
The lobster, clams, mussels and shrimp will go on top then sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning and doused with a bottle of chardonnay. You can always substitute a couple bottles of beer as well. Regardless, you’ll have a delicious broth at the end for bread dipping, and any leftover makes a wonderful seafood stock for a later use in soup or chowder.?
The goal is to have bright red lobsters, opened clams and mussels, opaque shrimp, and tender potatoes. Throw away any clams or mussels that didn’t open after cooking.
I like piling everything on a large sheet pan, or lining the table with butcher paper and let everyone dig in.
What to serve with your Easy Summer Kitchen Clambake
Here are summery appetizer, side and dessert ideas to round out this low-fat, protein-packed meal.?
- Roasted Tomato Garlic & White Bean Hummus
- Bruschetta Cheese Board
- Roasted Chickpea & Avocado Salad
- Asian Red Cabbage Slaw
- Stone Fruit & Tomato Summer Salad
- Blueberry Thyme Galette
- Glazed German Fruit Flan
Hope you have a deliciously awesome weekend celebrating papas! Cheers, friends!!?
- Lobster pot
- Lobster crackers and picks
- Extra-large rimmed sheet pan
- Butcher paper – for your table
- Lobster bibs – for laughs and giggles
Easy Summer Kitchen Clambake
- Lobster pot
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions peeled, halved then quartered
- 2 leeks white and light green parts only, chopped horizontally into ¾-inch thick slices
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ pounds small red or white potatoes
- 1 pound kielbasa sliced horizontally 1-inch thick
- ½ pound chorizo, sliced horizontally 1-inch thick
- 3 dozen littleneck clams, well rinsed
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp, 21-25 ct, shelled or unshelled
- 1 ½ tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 1 ½- pound lobsters
- 5 ears corn, husked and broken in half
- 1 750 ml bottle chardonnay
- 4 lemons, cut into wedges
- Melted butter
- Heat olive oil in a large lobster pot or stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until they begin to soften and caramelize, about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
- Stir in potatoes, kielbasa and chorizo.
- Then layer the seafood on top in this order: lobsters, littleneck clams, mussels, and shrimp.
- Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning over shrimp.
- Pour in wine. Cover the pot completely and cook over medium-high heat for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and place corn on top of seafood. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender, lobsters are bright red, clams and mussels opened, and shrimp are opaque.
- Remove the lobsters to a wooden board, break off tails, crack the claws, and let drain.
- With large slotted spoons or tongs, remove corn, remaining seafood, potatoes and sausages to a large platter and top with lobsters.
- Season broth to taste with salt and pepper then ladle into small bowls, careful not to scrape any sediment from the bottom.
- Serve clambake with broth*, lemon wedges, melted butter, and crusty bread. Enjoy!
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