With Connecticut clambakes, seafood parties can be great. Besides being the tasty food they are, clambakes can also refer to an outdoors gathering of people entertained by luscious and healthy seafood meals with fresh vegetables. It can be adapted into any formal or informal event - family reunion, corporate meeting, wedding party, or just a romantic dinner for two.
The hands-on eating lends itself to a casual atmosphere which makes it a terrific icebreaker when meeting new people. Plainly put, clambakes are fun! And with summer's approach, it is the perfect moment to get the water boiling.
Traditional clambakes were held at the beach as food was cooked over a steady fire. Nowadays, local laws prohibit beach fires, so clambakes are prepared over a more efficient propane burner, but the traditional atmosphere still exists.
Clambake may contain various foods. While some people may want to start off with quahogs (hard shelled clams), others prefer steamers (soft shelled clams) dipped in butter with a salty broth. Hosts can even serve shrimp, clam chowder and mussels. Some of the more traditional accompaniments include corn on the cob, salads, potatoes, slaws, and cornbread. How about having ice cream for dessert? With so many options to have your clambake as delicious and unique as possible, never forget to include lobster bisque, which is of course, the main dish.
Now, if you really want to follow the original clambake cooking process, you'll have to find a spot on the beach where you can dig a pit which is two or three feet deep. Then line it with rocks and build a huge fire on top of these rocks that would reach 400 degrees F. Line the hot rocks with wet seaweed, layer with potatoes, corn in the husk, and more seaweed. Cover the pit with a tarpaulin which is weighted down with rocks, and let it to steam for three hours.
A simpler method would have the shellfish and accompaniments steamed on a stovetop. You can also opt to place rocks in a large metal washtub across a couple of stovetop burners. Then layer it with clams and seaweed before pouring in a couple of gallons of seawater. Wait until it boils and then steam it for about twenty minutes to get the distinct clambake flavor.
If seawater and seaweed are just too much, just have the clambake prepared over hot coals on the grill. This will naturally help the live lobster and potatoes boil first as they take a really long time to cook. The clams and corn, however, will be cooked through the grill's heat.
For a much simpler version of preparing Connecticut clambakes, just place the clams in a pot add in corn and chorizo and some aromatics such as saffron and shallots. Steam it until the clams open. Since following the traditional clambake cooking method is too laborious, many people opt for the simplest technique. What's really important is that you and your guests will have a fun and healthy time feasting on Connecticut clambakes.