Memorial Day Clambake!
Memorial Day doesn’t only commemorate the brave men and women who have died serving this country, it’s also the start of summer! To tip it off I have gone with a traditional New England staple of an indoor clambake. A classic speckled enamel pot filled with kielbasa, steamer clams, quahogs, lobsters, potatoes and corn, simmered and steamed in an aromatic liquid of caramelized leek steeped wine…and not forgetting warm crusty bread for dipping of course…Ahhhmazing. The seafood choices are to your liking, the more the better but go with what you love!
I was lucky enough to find an enamel pot, I knew we had it lying around here and so I bit the bullet and asked bluntly. And to my favor we had one…it was a gift to T’s mom some umpteen years ago from T’s dad which had NEVER been used. A little dusty but after a bit of scrubbing it was good to go.
I was searching high and low for a seafood shop around us but after 5 minutes I told T, lets just head to Shaw’s. They have a pretty good selection of seafood, and I like the fact that they recognize sustainable seafood. Anyway, I got a few pounds of steamers and quahogs, as well as 2 live 1lb lobsters. Unfortunately T is allergic to shellfish, fortunately he never cared for lobsters or clams pre-allergy…I have snuck a few shrimps in my wantons once or twice and he didn’t start to heave…thank God. So T got a nice hunk of salmon steak, nicely seasoned with a Cajun marinade pan seared and finished in the oven…we thought we kept it a seafood theme tonight.
This is an easy meal fit for any night and occasion, just make sure you have a large pot to fill everything in snugly. Oh...prepare for getting your hands a little dirty! Its well worth the juice spilling down your wrists.
|i see the tamale calling my name!!|
2 lbs steamer clams
2 lbs quahog clams
3 1-1 ½ lb live lobsters
3 ears of fresh corn (hulled, silk removed, cut into two or three)
1 lb red potatoes
1 lb kielbasa (sliced on a diagonal)
2 leeks (rinsed, sliced into half moons)
2 celery stalks (chopped into two)
2 ½ C white wine (I used mondavi pinot grigio)
2-3 T olive oil
2 T butter
French baguette (sliced thick, 3 inch long)
Pre-heat oven to 200F to warm bread.
Wash and rinse your clams and lobster. Place them in your sink and fill it up with cold water. Swish them around and let them sit for 10 minutes or so, drain in a colander and set aside.
Set your pot on medium heat and add oil and butter, sauté leeks with a hefty pinch of salt and a few cracks of the pepper mill until caramelized. Add kielbasa and set the heat to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Add celery stalks and in this order add another few pinches of salt, pepper, potatoes, corn, clams, then lobster. Pour in the wine place a cover and bring to a boil, once boiling bring it to a rambunctious simmer and cover for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes check the tenderness of your largest potato, if its fork tender everything is good to go. Your clams should be open and lobster nice and red. Serve with warm bread and butter!