Weekend Recommendations : Labor Day Chillin’
Labor Day marks the end of summer even if it isn’t officially over until September 21st. This is our last hoorah until Halloween – so if you aren’t going away for the three day weekend here are some tips to make you love all things summer in the city, after the jump…
New England Clam Bake
Lobsters are the star of seafood recipes and while they share the stage with mussels and clams in this one – the lobster is the prime ingredient. Clam bakes are a New England tradition that have spread through the world wherever lobster lovers gather.
This lobster cooking technique is said to have been passed to the first European settlers by the native Americans who befriended them. This delicious combo of seafood, corn and new potatoes makes a tasty meal that is much easier to prepare than it looks.
To prepare a clambake for 6 you’ll need:
3 dozen steamer clams (more if you’d like)
3 dozen fresh mussels
6 live lobsters
18 small red or white potatoes
6 ears of corn (in the husk)
6 medium onions
3 lemons (cut into wedges)
One or two sticks (quarter pound) of melted butter
If you live near the beach some seaweed or rockweed
12 pieces of 18″ x 36″ cheesecloth
12 pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil
6 metal nutcrackers and small fish forks
Wash the clams, mussels and potatoes thoroughly. Peel the onions (not the potatoes) and remove the silk from the top of the ears of corn. Don’t remove the husks or the corn will get dried out when it cooks.
Lay out two pieces of foil with two pieces of the cheesecloth on top. Wrap this around 1 lobster, 3 potatoes, 6 clams, 6 mussels, 1 ear of corn, 1 onion and some seaweed or rockweed — if you were able to find it — add a cup of water to the package. Make sure to tie the cloth over the food and seal the foil well. This can be done without the cheesecloth if you can’t find any, but the food tends to get dark in spots and the lobster is dryer without the cloth to hold the moisture.
Make six of these packages and place them on a barbecue grill about 4 inches from the heat. Cover the grill with the hood or with large pieces of foil tucked in around the edges of the grill.
Let the packages steam for 1 hour flipping them every 15 minutes. If the potatoes are done, it’s a good indication that the lobster and the rest of the package is ready for your feast.
Open the packages and serve them with the lemon wedges and melted butter… you’ll need the nut crackers and fish forks to get the lobsters out of the shell…
and for a drunken dessert – Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges- from Martha Stewart Living
This grown-up fruit dessert borrows flavors from margaritas. Tequila and Triple Sec infuse the watermelon slices, which also get a spray of lime juice and a sprinkling of coarse salt. The longer the watermelon soaks, the more flavorful it becomes — one more reason to save any leftover slices.
1 small seedless watermelon, red or yellow, quartered and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
2 limes, halved or cut into wedges
Flaked sea salt or coarse salt
Arrange watermelon in a single layer in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Bring sugar, water, tequila, and Triple Sec to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Pour syrup over watermelon wedges, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Remove watermelon from syrup, and arrange on a platter. Squeeze limes over melon, and season with salt.
Have a great weekend and see you Tuesday!