Easy Clambake on the Grill

grilled clambake

Here’s a fun and easy way to entertain this summer, get adventurous and make this easy clambake on the grill. Think backyard parties, get-togethers  and holidays like the fourth of July which is right around the corner. There’s no fuss or mess, the method is simple and it allows you more time to enjoy your guests.

I made something similar in the past, a Seafood Boil, and I won’t kid you it was a huge undertaking trying to find the perfect pot so that everything could fit inside all together, but now I realize we could have easily done the same thing in one big foil pan ( covered) out on the grill with a much easier clean up!
clambake

Basically all you have to do is get everything prepped, these are the ingredients I used but really as long as it’s something that cooks up quickly add in your favorites.

The method is easy, just stack all your delicious ingredients into the vessel of your choice, like I said you could use a big foil pan just as long as you can cover it tightly with a heavy duty foil to create steam.clambake

This time I decided to do individual packets since there was just two of us, but with the amount of ingredients I had I ended up making three anyway, which was fine with us.

You’ll need a good spice mix, something like Old Bay or you can make your own.  I happen to like one from Whole Foods it’s a classic rub and I find it in the fish department.

You’ll also need some kind of a liquid to create steam so everything can cook up nicely, either plain old water, wine, broth or in my case a bottle of beer.

Then just let the grill do all the work, while you sit down and have a cold drink!grilled clambake

When the foil bowl was torn open the smells were amazing, not to mention the taste, we loved it, and I think you will too.

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Easy Clambake on the Grill
 
Recipe adapted from a magazine I was flipping through and forgot the name
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, large, cleaned, deveined with tails on
  • 2 ears of corn cut into quarters, uncooked
  • 1 dozen little neck clams ( there will always be some that won't open) you can sub in some mussels if you prefer
  • 4 red or white potatoes cut into about 1½ inches uncooked or you can microwave them for 1 minute to give them a head start
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 cup or so of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 12 oz. of smoked sausage, something precooked like andouille with a little kick, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 bottle of beer, your choice
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • spice mix of your choice , at least 2 tablespoons per packet or more if using a big pan, you be the judge on that, I really didn't measure kept adding more
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • lemons, parsley or chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make a foil packet line a mixing bowl with 2 sheets of heavy duty foil, making sure you'll have enough to bring up the sides and seal it good.
  2. Start layering your packets, dividing up your ingredients starting with the potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic,corn, shrimp and sausage, sprinkling some of the spice mix over each layer.
  3. Top the packet with the clams, a dollop of butter and ½ cup of beer.
  4. Close the packets up, sealing them tightly so no steam escapes.
  5. Place packets directly on the grill which should be on high heat.
  6. Cook 20-25 minutes, clams should be open and shrimp cooked.

 

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Fresh Watermelon Cake

watermelon cake

Here’s a fun and creative way to serve up your next watermelon, carve it into a “cake”!

Who doesn’t love watermelon, it’s a summer staple usually always present at cookouts and parties. This “cake” is made with sweet refreshing watermelon that has been carved and shaped into a cake, it gets frosted with fresh whipped cream and is decorated with fresh summer berries, this could be the perfect red, white and blue cake for your Fourth of July party.

I’ve seen this done online and I couldn’t wait to try it myself, I was skeptical about putting the cream on a wet surface but all you do is pat the melon down really good with paper towels after it’s cut, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and quick it was to put it all together.

I actually made this early in the morning, had it all frosted and garnished, stuck it in my fridge and pulled it out later in the evening and it was flawless, everything stayed in tact, in fact the cream set up so nice and firm and it was so easy to cut into nice wedges, even leftovers the next day were perfect!

watermelon

Find yourself a nice round seedless watermelon, you’re going to be cutting the top and bottom off so pick a size according to how many guests you’ll be serving.

ingredients for watermelon cake

The first thing I recommend doing is whipping your cream, you want very stiff peaks and then refrigerate it, get it nice and cold. Have all your berries washed and ready to go. You can garnish your “cake” with whatever you want, berries, nuts, sprinkles, slivered almonds, coconut or other fruit of your choice, make it your own and be creative!

watermelon cake

The trimming was easier than I thought, after you remove the top and bottom stand it upright and start slicing the dark outer green rind off all the way around and make sure you see none of the light green rind underneath showing either, take your time and start trimming and shaping it to look like a cake.

watermelon cake

When you’re done trimming it put it on top of the platter you’ll be serving it on, don’t worry it doesn’t have to be perfectly shaped.

watermelon cake

The whipped cream will hide all the imperfections and so will all your added fruit and garnishes.

watermelon cake

It’s unexpected, impressive and a guaranteed show stopper when you bring it out to the table and no baking required!

Happy Summer and Happy 4th!

Fresh Watermelon Cake
 
Refreshing, unexpected and a beautiful way to serve a watermelon, transformed to look like a cake. It's healthy and delicious too!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 whole seedless watermelon
  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream ( you'll probably have some extra)
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar or other sweetener like stevia
  • assorted fresh berries and other garnishes of your choice like nuts, sliced almonds, coconut, sprinkles, etc.
Instructions
  1. First whip your cream with the confectioners sugar and vanilla, whip until you get nice stiff peeks, then refrigerate bowl.
  2. Wash and dry the whole watermelon.
  3. With a sharp knife slice the top and bottom off.
  4. Standing upright begin removing the dark green rind all around.
  5. Keep trimming the sides removing the light green rind underneath and trimming it into a nice cylinder shape.
  6. Wipe and pat dry the cylinder with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  7. Place shaped and patted dry melon on serving platter.
  8. Spread cold whipped cream all over with a rubber spatula, top and sides.
  9. Garnish with berries or other things of your choice.
  10. At this point you can refrigerate it until ready to cut. I placed the whole platter into my fridge and didn't cover it, but if you had a cake plate topper that would fit over the top, that would be fine too but not necessary.
  11. If you have some of the "cake"remaining after cutting just refrigerate soon after so the whipped cream doesn't melt down, especially on a hot day.

 

 

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Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

SangriaNo recipes today, just relaxing and sipping sangria, enjoying the beautiful weather here in Chicago, and wishing winter never comes back!
steak and vegetable kabobs Many grills will be fired up and good smells will be in the air, some of the things we enjoy grilling are, steak kabobs. It’s not summer without a kabob  of some sort!

BBQ baby back ribsOf course ribs are a given. We make no claims here to be rib masters, we just cook them low and slow then slather on some really good bbq sauce.
beer brats The hubby makes his famous beer brats. Sweet onions, butter and beer flavor perfectly grilled brats!  A nice side for all this would be my red, white and blue potato salad.

cherry ricotta tartAfter a heavy meal a nice light dessert goes well like my cherry studded ricotta tart, I promise I will get this recipe on the blog soon, it’s that good!
fireworks Have a great day and enjoy the fireworks!

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Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

red white blue potato saladred white blue potato saladNo Fourth of July picnic or barbecue is complete without a potato salad of some sort. We all have our favorites but if you want to change it up a bit and bring a little patriotic theme to your table, search out those teeny tiny red, white and blue potatoes.

I happen to come across some at my local farmers market last week and couldn’t resist. These bite size potatoes are no bigger than an olive and they’re just perfect for roasting, they have a tender thin skin so there’s no need for peeling, and they cook up in a matter of minutes.
I also love those colored fingerling potatoes they’re a little larger and cook up just as fast.
My favorite way to prepare them is to simply roast them in a hot oven around 450 degrees, drizzled with olive oil. I like to add in some red pepper to roast along with the potatoes.
 
When they become fork tender, which doesn’t take long, toss them into a bowl and add chopped red onion or shallots, snipped chives, sliced scallions, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste with lots of grated lemon peel.
Whisk up fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil for your dressing and pour it all over and toss, as it sits it just gets better and better as all the flavors start to absorb.
I like to leave some whole and cut a few in half so you can see the vibrant colors. So perfect for the Fourth of July and no worries about keeping it cold, no mayo required.

The nice thing about potato salad is that it goes perfect with just about anything that you make on your grill or pack up for a picnic.

Sip something cold, relax and enjoy your weekend. I’ve been on an ice cube making binge lately, adding blueberries and raspberries to water then freezing the cubes and dropping them into lemonade.

Here I made cubes out of watermelon puree and mint, a nice change from the norm!

Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

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