A New England Clam Bake at Home!

I just got back from a weekend away (aaaaah!). I was at the family cottage which is by the beach near Cape Cod. My mother would be all over me if I mentioned the name of the town, because it’s one of the few unspoiled places. I was lucky enough to spend every summer there as a kid. My sister and I would stay with our grandmother and mom would come down on weekends. So, in a sense, I grew up by the sea (sort of). It’s definitely an essential part of who I am. It’s like it’s in my blood and being there fits like a glove. This weekend my mom and I went just the two of us. Since my grandmother passed it’s really her cottage now, which she shares with her brother.
2 days of lounging at the beach were just what this pregnant mom of a 3 year-old needed. Sitting on the beach gives one time to think. . .and read. I got caught up on some great recipe reads on the beach. This month’s issue of Gourmet is particularly great. I highly recommend you go get it if you are interested in food at all. There are some great features on family farms with fabulous fresh summer recipes.

While I was away I ate nothing but seafood and ice cream (I can’t help it). It was wonderful and it made me think that my first recipe back had to be something classically New England. Something to make you think “summer” and “beach.” Something that tastes like seaside living. And then it hit me. . .
One of the most fun things to do in summer in New England is have a clambake. It’s the best of all worlds—cooking, EATING, being on the beach and watching the sunset. Heaven! However, it’s not something you do everyday and sometimes you still crave the flavors even when it’s just a boring old any-day when you are nowhere near the beach—like I am now, sadly.
No worries, though. You can still have a version of the experience at home without the sand and sea. And it’ll be plenty tasty! I’m going to show an easy way to do it, however if you’re feeling lazy you can order everything online from lobsterclambake.com—who knew? I guess you can get just about anything online these days. . .

NEW ENGLAND CLAMBAKE (grill style!)

Traditionally, this would include lobster, possibly instead of fish, but fish is just easier. If you want to do it the “right” way, get some lobster in the mix for sure.

2 tbs. unsalted butter, room temp.
2 tbs. chopped dill
2 tbs. chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1/2 lb. red new potatoes sliced thinly
1 pound skinless cod or haddock, cut into four pieces
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound linguica, cut in 1” sections
8-10 pearl onions
2 ears fresh corn, quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced

1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a bowl, mix butter, dill, and garlic. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Using squares of heavy-duty foil, assemble packets. Arrange the potatoes on the bottom, add the fish, then the shrimp. 2 pieces of corn can go to the side along with 3 sections of linguica and 2-3 onions. Season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of the butter/herb mixture and two lemon slices.

3. Place a second piece of foil over and fold the edges over 2 times to seal.

4. Grill the packets, rotating now and then for 10-15 minutes. Open one up to see that the fish is cooked through and the taters are soft.

These little packets of yum are even better if served with a good crusty bread and a salad or cole slaw on the side!

And if you like your flavors in an easier-to-manage package, try breadchick’s Clam Bake BURGER!