July 10, 2009
Growing up on Long Island, I have had the great pleasure of attending a few authentic lobster bakes. Big pits are dug in the sand and your meal is layered among damp seaweed fresh from the ocean and hot coals or rocks that have been heating in a fire. If you ever have an opportunity to attend an event/meal like this, I highly encourage you to do it. But, for those of you who don’t live near the sea or are uncomfortable loosing some of your clams as you dig out your dinner, here is a really easy way to recreate a clambake in your home with 5 ingredients*.
Potatoes, small red or new potatoes are best
Lobster (I like one per a person and at least one or two extra)
Shucked Corn (the fresher the better)
Place the potatoes at the bottom of a large soup or stock pot (or a lobster pot if you have it). Fill with enough water to just cover the potatoes, throw in a few bay leaves if you have them. Lay the lobsters over the potatoes then top with the corn, the clams and the shrimp in that order. Turn the flame on high and cover. The whole thing is done when the clams open. I don’t know why this works (perhaps this guy could explain it) but it does. Serve with drawn butter if you would like and lots and lots of napkins.
*Yes, this all part of my evil ploy to get people to start buying more lobster. Yesterday I picked some up for dinner for $4.95 a lb, and culls are 5 for $30!
** There are many different types of clams out there and some are better for some things than others. I always ask my local fish guy what is best that day because I would take really fresh over the ‘correct’ clam for the recipe any day. That being said, you should shoot for smaller clams; little necks, steamers or cherrystones. Quahog’s are just big littlenecks but they can get really chewy when you steam them.
Note: This is my mothers ‘recipe’. She cooks by sight and by feel and when she bakes she measure liquid in eggshells. So if you are the type that needs exact measurements, this might not be for you.