New England Clambake

When John and I got married in New England, we had a clambake as our reception in his parents’ backyard on Lake Mishnock.  We all got really ripped (parents and neighbors included) and hired a professional Karaoke system (along with operator) instead of a band.  I sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy with my sisters in 4-part harmony (the first time we had ever sung together, but we all separately knew the parts).  My Dad sang a Dean Martin song.  The next door neighbor, Mr. Harney, the official Santa Claus of Massachusetts (God Rest His Soul) wandered over and got into the act.  The groomsmen croaked “Born to Be Wild.” Good times.

To my joy Costco now sells ready-to grill/bake/boil New England clambake ingredients – Lobster tails, large scallops, shrimps and clams. (Big question – will there be a Costco in heaven?)  You just put them in a pan, pour on lots of melted butter, sprinkle on the seasoning packet, seal the entire thing well with foil.  And then bake in a very hot oven.  I recommend baking for only 20 minutes instead of the 25-30 on the box.  A traditional New England clam bake often has chicken so I supplemented it with two pieces of boneless chicken thighs seared on a hot grill and tossed into the pan along with the seafood.

I separately steamed halved new red potatoes, corn on the cob, and broccoli (steam potatoes 15 minutes, then add corn, after 5 minutes, add broccoloi and steam for 2 more minutes)  Broccoli is not traditional, but my Italian New England in-laws never seem to have a dinner without broccoli on the table.  Sprinkle copiously with lots of freshly chopped parsley.  Break out the napikins and bibs.  Serves 2 very generously.

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