Connecticut Clambakes Cooking Techniques

Traditional Connecticut clambakes aren't just a meal, it's an event - a social gathering that doubles as a very popular and delicious way to feed many guests, whether it be a wedding party, a corporate event, a family reunion or simply a romantic evening for two.

As it is a hands-on event, the clambake would be a great place to meet new friends because of its casual atmosphere. With summer as the perfect time to enjoy the beach and delicious seafood treats, clambakes are a whole lot of fun!

Clambakes were originally prepared on the beach, over a huge fire. But some local laws have now prohibited beach fires, so today's technique would have the clambakes cooked over the more efficient propane burner. Even though the traditional method is not often practiced, what's important is that the traditional atmosphere still lives.

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.

The original clambake method is prepared over a pit along the coast that is two or three feet deep. The pit is then lined with rocks and a large fire that would reach 400 degrees F is set on top of these rocks. Wet seaweeds are then lined on the rocks, layered with potatoes, corn in the husk, and even more seaweeds. The pit is then lined with a tarpaulin which is weighted down with rocks. The clambake is then steamed for about 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.

And if you really want the simplest method of making Connecticut clambakes, put the clams in a pot and add to it chorizo and corn and maybe some aromatics such as shallots and saffron. Just steam it until the clams open. There are indeed many cooking methods to choose from. Whether you opt for the more traditional complicated one, or the much easier pot method, it's all really up to you. Just never forget to have a great time with your family and friends over the lovely Connecticut clambakes.

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About The Author, Sherry Shantel
Seafood is preferred fresh over frozen, there are various ways to obtain seafood combo meals in the best form even if you live far from the near the East Coast. Quality Fresh Seafood is a great place to start.