2 dozen cherrystone clams
1 1/2 lb shrimp
1 quart tiny redskin potatoes
4 smoked turkey sausage, cut into thirds
3 ears of corn, cut into coins
2 large onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 bulb fennel, sliced
2 cups of crab stock*
corn stalks free of silk
Line the bottom of a very large pot (we used the lobster pot we got as a wedding present) with corn stalks. Top with onions, sausage potatoes, fennel, and bay leaves. Add the stock and enough water to just clear the food. Top with a layer of corn, then shrimp then the clams. Place on a very hot grill and cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
Cook until the clams are fully opened.
Use slotted spoons and/or a pasta scoop to fish the food out. Serve with crusty bread, butter, and Old Bay.
*I made crab stock with the shells of leftover steamed crabs boiled with water, 2 parsnips, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery and a few onions following the same instructions as chicken stock.
My thoughts:While not technically a clambake, this is a fun, interactive dinner that is incredibly easy to make. A couple of years ago I read an article about clambakes that had some good tips on layering the food and although I wasn't very interested in what they put in the pot ever since I've wanted to have one in our own backyard. While I don't have a beach or seaweed or rocks, I do have a grill and it worked very well.
A local chain had Chesapeake Bay clams on sale along with some tasty saltwater shrimp (they are bright pink even prior to cooking) so it seemed fated that we'd have seafood when our delightful friend Danielle came to dinner.
I used turkey sausage which is lower in fat than most sausage (by a lot!) and thus did not make everything unappetizing greasy which some times occurs when sausage is boiled with other foods. I also cut up the corn and used tiny potatoes so they would cook quickly and be done at the same time as the clams.
I liked to put a little butter on the corn and sprinkle the shrimp with Old Bay.