The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
As a dog, I know a thing or two about intimidation. I also know that the two most intimidating words on the planet are Clam and Bake. That’s right, Clambake! Those two words will have you envisioning large pots, hungry crowds and a lot of hard work. What if I told you that you and your hungry pack could have a delicious clam bake dinner on a weeknight!? I am here to show you that a clam bake’s bark can be much more intimidating than its bite.
The solution to conquering this meal at home? Aluminum Foil! Build your own clam bakes are here to save the day! Combine fresh clams, shrimp, potatoes, some butter and wrap it all up. Toss it on the grill and in 15 minutes you’ll be eating a meal that Poseidon would be jealous of.
What I love most about this recipe is its ability to please even the pickiest eater. Building your own ensures you get all the good stuff you love! Add your favorite veggies or seafood, the possibilities are endless. Let’s cut the chit chat and get this clam jam started!
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For the Compound Butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ shallot, minced
- Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1 spring of thyme
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
For the Clambake
- 1 pound small red or yellow potatoes
- 2 ears of corn, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 package cherry tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno
- ½ red onion
- 4 slices of cooked & crumbled bacon
- ½ pound shrimp
- 24 middle or little neck clams
- 18 mussels
- 1 pound of smoked sausage
- Thyme, parsley, & dill, chopped
- Old Bay Seasoning, for topping
- 1 loaf of French bread
- 10-12 pieces of 12x12 inch foil
- Combine room temperature butter with the minced shallot, garlic, Old Bay, lemon zest, and the chopped parsley, dill & thyme. Mix and keep refrigerated. You can place the butter in plastic wrap and mold it into a log and freeze. This creates a much better presentation and makes for easier slicing!
- Place the potatoes into boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. While the potatoes are boiling, slice onion, jalapeno, corn and lemon. Slice the sausage into ½ inch diagonal pieces.
- Clean the clams and mussels. Scrub them under cold water to remove any sand or barnacles. Discard any with broken shells. Keep them on a serving tray or large plate with ice.
- Set your grill for indirect heat, around 450-500°F. These can easily be made in an oven at the same temperature.
- Place all your ingredients on a large serving tray with the foil squares, compound butter, and Old Bay. Allow each person to build their own packet! This makes for an interactive and fun meal that each person can customize to their liking. Be sure to top each packet with a sprig of fresh herbs, 2-3 tablespoons of the compound butter and one last shake of the Old Bay seasoning. Completely close the foil packet and place on the grill for 10-15 minutes.
- When the clams and mussels have opened you are ready to enjoy! Discard any clams that have not opened after 15 minutes. Serve with hot sauce, a ton of wet wipes and grilled French bread to soak up all those delectable juices! This delicious and simple feast will quickly become a family favorite!