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Backyard Clambake

June 2010
Backyard Clambake

by 78 people

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Makes: 6 servings

Prep: 20 mins

Grill: 30 mins

  • 2 pounds small new yellow-fleshed potatoes
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 50-count bag littleneck clams
  • 2 1 pound bags  steamer clams
  • 2 lemons, 1 cut into 6 rounds and 1 cut into 6 wedges
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 pounds shell-on large shrimp (about 45 pieces)
  • 4 ears corn, broken into 2 or 3 pieces each
  • Melted butter, for dunking
  • Old Bay seasoning, for sprinkling
  • Crusty bread, for mopping
  1. Preheat a grill to high. In an 18-inch roasting pan, add the potatoes, sausage and 4 cups water. Place on the grill, close the grill lid and bring to a boil. Add the clams; scatter the lemon rounds, garlic and thyme on top. Cover with foil or the roaster lid, then close the grill lid and cook for 15 minutes. Stir well, add the shrimp and corn, cover, close the grill lid and cook until the clams open, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the shellfish, sausage and vegetables to bowls or platters and serve with the lemon wedges, melted butter and Old Bay Seasoning. Ladle the clam broth into large bowls and serve with the crusty bread.
  • Set out bowls of broth (reserved from the grill pan) and melted butter for dunking, as well as empty pails for guests to toss tails and shells into.
  • Lose the linens and use a sheet of brown paper: Tape the ends to the underside of the table; after dinner, have a friend help you unwrap, then toss the mess right into the trash.
  • Keep the feast casual and outdoorsy with a hands-on policy: Let guests use fingers or seafood picks instead of forks.
  • Offer extra spice: Fill seasoning shakers with Old Bay and leave them out for on-the-spot flavoring. The spice blend will complement the seafood, sausage and potatoesand the tomato-based cocktails.