Downeast, our winters are long and our summers are short, sweet and time to celebrate. To many of us, the best celebration of all is a classic Maine clambake made and served right on the seashore. This tradition goes back to the original New Englanders; the Native Americans who taught us how to steam lobster, clams, and corn on the cob in seaweed covered fire pits in the sand. Well, we here at Bar Harbor® don’t feel the need to wait for summer, or have to go to the beach, to enjoy a real clambake. That’s why we came up with an authentic recipe you can enjoy all year long – right in your kitchen or in your backyard.
Indoor Clambake (serves 4)
- 4 (1-1/2 pound) live lobsters
- 8 ears of shucked corn (or 8 small potatoes)
- 4 pounds steamer clams (be sure to soak to remove sand)
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
- 2 to 3 pounds Maine Rockweed (seaweed or fresh spinach)
- 1 egg in shell
- Pour 1 inch of water into a large (20 quart) pot. Divide the green leafy stuff (Rockweed or spinach) into four equal parts. Place one part in the bottom of the pot and place the live lobsters on top. Then cover the lobsters with another layer of green leaves and put the corncobs (or potatoes) on it. Put a 3rd layer of greens over the and then place your steamer clams over it. Cover the clams with the last layer of rockweed or spinach
- Bring the steamer to a boil over high heat, covered, and steam for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the clam shells are all open wide and the egg is hard-boiled. Serve it up (not the leafy stuff) on four large plates with plenty of real melted butter. Don’t forget the nutcrackers – but forget the bibs; they’re for sissies. The egg is for the cook!
- Serve with Chowder, Indian Pudding, Beans, Bisque, Seafood Meats, or Wild-Caught Fish.
Backyard Clambake (Serves 6)
- 4 to 5 pounds steamer clams (be sure to soak to remove sand)
- 6 (1-1/2 pound) live lobsters
- 18 small potatoes (washed not peeled)
- 6 ears of corn (in the husk with silk tops removed)
- 6 small/medium onions
- 2 pounds Maine Rockweed (seaweed or fresh spinach)
- 12 pieces of 18″ x 36″ cheesecloth
- 12 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil
Place two pieces of cheesecloth on two pieces of foil large enough to wrap around 1 live lobster, a dozen clams, 1 ear of corn, 1 onion, 3 potatoes, and some Maine Rockweed (or spinach). Then tie the cloth tightly around the food and pour about one cup of water into each bundle. Make sure to not to puncture the foil so that it will securely hold the water during grilling – and turning.
Place six packages on a barbecue grill (with cover) about 4 inches over the flame. Turn the steamy bundles every 15 minutes for about one hour. Double check a bundle to make sure the potatoes are done. Discard the seaweed or spinach, breakout the nutcrackers, melted butter and enjoy your backyard clambake!
Last but not least, don’t forget your favorite beverages, a slice of pie or a generous helping of our famous Indian Pudding for desert. Then put on your favorite tunes, dig in and savor the authentic flavor of Maine!
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