Feast On Connecticut Clambakes

Connecticut clambakes do not only refer to the scrumptious meals of seafood but they also refer to a gathering of people enjoying the outdoors with tasty seafood treats. This wonderful party idea can go well with any business event, wedding celebration, family reunion, or even a romantic date by the beach.

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.

What foods are included in a clambake may vary. Some folks like to serve quahogs (hard shelled clams) just before the main course. Others prefer steamers (soft shelled clams) dipped in butter and salty broth to start. Mussels can be an additional or alternative shellfish and some folks like to get fancy and serve shrimp and clam chowder as well. Accompaniments include potatoes, corn on the cob, salads, slaws and cornbread. For dessert, ice cream is still the best. But whatever the supporting acts, the star of any clambake is the lobster bisque.

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.

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.

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