Nothing embodies summer like a clambake party. These New England style gatherings are the perfect opportunity to have some fun in the sun, while feeding your closest friends and family in a unique way. They’re a messy affair with lots of butter and hand eating - but that’s okay, as a clambake should complement the carefree attitude of a long summer weekend.
What Is a Clambake, Anyway?
You’ve probably heard of a clambake or seen one on a menu. An actual clambake is a traditional preparation of various shellfish, including clams, lobsters, mussels ,and crabs, usually held right on a beach over an open fire pit. Throw some vegetables into the mix, and you have a hearty summer meal. If shellfish aren’t your jam, don’t be afraid to use the same cooking methods to prepare other proteins like chicken and sausages.
A Classic Beach Clambake Recipe
This recipe is for hosts who are lucky enough to live near the beach:
- STEP 1: Walk the beach in the early morning with friends and gather up some fresh seaweed, driftwood to build your fire, and rocks to line the bottom of your pit.
- STEP 2: Dig your pit and line the bottom with large rocks. Top your rocks with your driftwood.
- STEP 3: Build a fire on top of the stones. Tend to your fire until the rocks become red hot. Make sure the stones are hot enough to glow or at least spit back ocean water.
- STEP 4: Rake off as much ash off the rocks as possible, and pile a layer of seaweed on the rocks.
- STEP 5: Layer the rocks with potatoes, corn, onion, clams, and live lobsters. Top with more seaweed and cover with a tarp or a potato sack drenched in seawater.
- STEP 6: Bake your seafood for at least two hours. A good sign the food is cooked to perfection is to check the potatoes first. If they are soft, your clam bake is done.
Home Clambake Recipe
But if you’re like me and only have a kitchen or backyard available, you can still hold a delicious and successful clambake away from the beach. This simple recipe is just as completely doable from home!
- 1 pound baby Dutch yellow potatoes
- 3 ears corn, each cut crosswise into 6 pieces
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound mussels, debearded and scrubbed
- 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound hot dried chorizo, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes until just tender and parboiled, about 10-13 minutes. Stir in corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking time; drain well.
- In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, Old Bay Seasoning and thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place potatoes, corn, mussels, clams, shrimp, chorizo, onion and lemons in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Stir in butter mixture and gently toss to combine.
- Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until all the mussels and clams have opened and the shrimp are opaque.
- Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.
Both recipes are flexible, and depend on what ingredients are available or what you prefer. We’d love to hear about how you would personalize your clambake recipe! Share with us yours by following us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables.. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily!