Clambake – It's not just an Elvis movie
For the seafood lover, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a clambake.
Be it with lobster, shrimp, mussels, various filets of fish or, of course, everyone’s favorite mollusk, the sight of a pile of seafood steaming over a large pot of water and its accompanying aromas are enough to get the taste buds at attention and the mouth watering. It truly is a feast for the senses.
So if you’re at a loss for what to do for your next dinner party in the coming weeks, try out a clambake, outdoors or in. It’s easier than you think, especially with the guidance of the following online videos.
In a clip from NBC’s “Today” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXY2KDrGmpc), Al Roker departs from his usual weather beat to show how to do a traditional New England clambake with clams, lobster, shrimp, corn, potatoes, kielbasa, onions, white wine and various seasonings in a large pot. He also demonstrates the critical prep work that needs to be done (rinsing the sand from the clams; removing the beards from the mussels) before they go in the water.
On the “Cooking Everything Outdoors Show” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1A7uGhk9Qw), Greg from Ballistic BBQ proves you don’t need to live near a beach to produce an authentic clambake. Here, he employs his Weber Kettle in which he alternates layers of charcoal and rocks to produce radiant heat. On top of that goes seaweed, which serves as the bed on which the clams, mussels, lobster, corn and other ingredients will roast, covered by another layer of seaweed. Remove from heat and serve. It looks impressive and likely tastes even more so.
If the weather outside isn’t so great, New England chef Jasper White shows how you can take the production indoors in this video from Epicurious (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQFGehieNF8), in which he adapts a traditional clambake for the kitchen stove. Here, he puts his seafood, potatoes, chorizo, corn and other ingredients in a bag with his own secret ingredient, an egg, and steams in a pot of water. Fifteen minutes later, you have a New England clambake for four. Dining at its finest.
For sheer volume, you can’t beat the Maine clambake in this video from Mark Wiens (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTHGIifvqf4). Here, hops a boat to Cabbage Island in Booth Bay to partake in a clambake consisting of 298 lobsters, plus piles of clams, corn, potatoes, onions, eggs and other ingredients, cooked in traditional seaweed. It’s an experience that’s open to anyone willing to pay the $69 charge for the meal and boat ride but make sure you make reservations early as there is a waiting list.