• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

New England Clambake

July 15, 2008 11:02:20 AM PDT
Every year the Hearty Boys, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, have a New England clambake in their backyard in Chicago. Since they live in the city and don't have the room to build a fire pit (something the city might frown on anyway) they load all the seafood into a huge old enamel pot and steam everything on the stovetop. That leaves their backyard grill free for corn on the cob, game sausages (for the non seafood eaters) and herb grilled new potatoes. It's a great taste of New England in the Midwest. The Hearty Boys say your clambake won't be complete with out cold beer and wine. The best way to chill beer and wine is to use those plastic tubs you find at house wares stores. Before adding ice, place the beer bottles on their sides, stacking like brands together. Organizing brands that way eliminates the "beer fishing" of college days. A few of your white wine bottles (pre-opened, with the corks loosely set back in) should also be placed upright at one end of the tub. Only then should you pour the ice directly over the bottles. Cold air travels down and will soon be followed by shifting cubes and ice-cold melting water. This is how the Hearty Boys ice down beers at catered events, and it cools them in 30 to 45 minutes.

This tub can be placed behind the bar, if you have a bartender, or on a self-serve bar itself, if you are using a large (and sturdy) table. Either way, wrap the tub in a tablecloth to give it a more decorative look.

Another important note: for an indoor party always use a plastic tarp or trash bag under the cloth to protect your bar table or floor from condensation.

New England Clam Bake
Recipe courtesy of The Hearty Boys

  • 2 dozen steamer clams
  • 2 dozen mussels
  • 2 dozen unpeeled large shrimp
  • 6 whole lobsters
  • 2 pounds Linguica sausage, tied in cheesecloth
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 12 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large bunch curly parsley
  • 4 cups dry white wine
  • Fresh seaweed, stored in salt water
Special Equipment: 1 extra large stock pot (preferably speckled enamel)

Start off by pouring the wine into the stock pot and add the onion, garlic, peppercorns and parsley. Place on the stovetop or on your grill and let the wine come to a simmer. Next add a layer of seaweed followed by the lobsters (placed on their backs), another layer of seaweed, the linguica and the mussels, more seaweed, the clams, more seaweed and cover with the pot's lid. Let the pot steam over medium heat about 1 ? 1 ½ hours. Once the clams have opened up you'll know that everything is done.

Serve with nut crackers for the lobster and lots of melted butter.

Confetti Slaw
Recipe courtesy of The Hearty Boys

  • 2 cups coarsely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup packed basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cut each head of cabbage into quarters, remove the solid center and cut the cabbage into ¼" thick ribbons. Don't cut straight across the cabbage as the pieces will be too big. Rather cut on a diagonal - it will be a rougher chop and will make for a more interesting dish.

Next, shred the carrot using the large side of a box grater. Toss the cabbages, carrot, apple, raisins and chopped green onions together in a large bowl.

Put the garlic cloves, cilantro & basil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined. Mix with the cabbage mixture, cover and refrigerate. It's best if it sits for a couple of hours.

Yield: serves 6 - 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Old Bay Grilled Corn on the Cob
Recipe courtesy of The Hearty Boys

  • 8 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Mix the butter well with the Old Bay and lemon zest. Slather it onto each ear of corn, about 2 tablespoons worth per ear. Wrap each ear individually in heavy duty aluminum foil and place on a preheated grill. Grill for 30 minutes, turning a few times in the process. Serve still in the foil.

Yield: serves 6 - 8
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


Load Comments