If you've always wanted to have a clambake but don't live near Martha's Vineyard, all is not lost. You can still engage in the clambake ritual at home. Most of the fun of the clambake lies in the preparation, in which you create layers of food and let them steam. Then, you and your guests can nibble and drink in anticipation of one of the best-tasting dishes you'll ever have.
Even though you aren't digging a pit on the beach, you can still create the same steaming effect in your own kitchen. In an outdoor clambake, you would dig a pit, line it with stones and heat it up. But it's much easier to find a large pot and let the ingredients steam in that.
Equipment You Will Need:
Small pot for boiling potatoes
Mesh bags or cheesecloth
Large stockpot with lid
Ingredients You Will Need:
2 pounds new potatoes
4 corn cobs, shucked
4 live lobsters
2 pounds clams
1 ½ pounds andouille sausages
Boil the potatoes in advance so they have a jump start on cooking, as they will be the slowest to cook. Meanwhile, shuck the corn and clean the seafood. Get as many mesh bags or pieces of cheesecloth as there are guests (in this case, four), and divide the ingredients so each guest receives an even share of the ingredients in the bag. Tie each bag with twine. You could cook all the clambake ingredients together at once, but the mesh bags will make it easier to serve your guests and to redistribute the ingredients so they are all exposed to the steam.
Fill your pot with one inch of water, and set a steamer rack at the bottom to keep the bags out of the water. Start the water boiling, and, once it is boiling, layer the bags on the rack and cover the pot with the lid. After 15 minutes, carefully change the order of the bags so each bag can get closer to the steam. Then, every 5 minutes, check the bags. If the lobsters are turning bright red and the clams are opening, you are almost done. To be certain, open one of the mesh bags, and pull out a potato. If the potato can be pierced with a fork and the lobsters are red, then you can pull out the bags.
As you are plating, toss clams that have not opened. Halve each lobster lengthwise, and place the lobster pieces at the centers of each plate. Surround the lobsters with the rest of the ingredients.
When you set your table, add extra bowls where guests can put their clamshells. Don't forget to provide plenty of napkins and paper towels because clambakes get messy. As a last touch, set out bowls of melted butter for dipping.
New England-style lobster clam bakes are a popular way to spend a nice summer day with friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. Who doesn't like baking lobster, clams, potatoes and other foods while the sun is setting? The tradition of the clambake has been around for quite some time. In fact, its origins reach back to the start of the United States.
Don't worry: using a clambake cooker will not affect the taste. Your lobster, clams and other dishes will come out tasting as if they were cooked in a pit by the ocean.
Whether you're heading to the beach or having a backyard clam bake, it is important to consider all of the necessary supplies you'll need. Not only will you need to consider the menu and how you will cook your items, but you will also need to consider the decorations and seating arrangements.