Summer Seafood Fest
Celebrate the fresh, boiled, steamed and grilled flavors of a traditional lobster bake this summer. Our overflowing menu below boasts classic ingredients, favorite recipes and the ease and simplicity of at-home, on-the-stove cooking. No need to live near the beach or build a giant rock pit in the sand in order to try these East Coast tastes; all of the recipes can be made right in your kitchen. Don’t forget to stock up on hand wipes and lobster bibs!
No summer celebration can begin without a glass of sweet chilled lemonade. Michael Chiarello’s recipe for Muddled Lemonberryade from Cooking Channel combines tart lemon juice and sweet strawberries. By the way, there would be nothing wrong with adding a few splashes of vodka to make this an adults-only sipper. After all, you have a lot of lobster-baking ahead of you.
If you want to start with an appetizer before the main event, serve your guests a platter of Emeril’s Grilled Whole Shrimp With Lemon and Marjoram from Cooking Channel while you’re preparing everything else. The subtle citrus flavor complements the mild essence of marjoram, and the heat of the grill melds these tastes perfectly. Don’t have access to a gas or charcoal grill? A stove-top grill pan will do the job, too. If you’re planning to serve the shrimp along with the rest of your meal, add these to the grill at the last possible minute, as shrimp can quickly become chewy if overcooked.
The most traditional elements of a lobster bake include mussels, clams and, of course, fresh lobster. Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Spicy Steamed Mussels is made in a hefty aluminum foil pouch and filled with fresh cilantro, oregano and lime juice. The Garlic Steamed Clams from Food.com, however, are cooked in a heavy pan, laden with the savory flavors of garlic and white wine. Both the mussels and clams take just 5-6 minutes to open up, so begin steaming them at the same time.
Tyler’s recipe for classic Boiled Maine Lobster from Food Network is appropriately simplistic. The natural flavors of the lobster are only enhanced, and not covered up, by his delicate boil of bay leaves, fresh thyme and lemon. Serve alongside a warm cup of clarified butter for indulgent dipping.
For a lobster dish that’s a tad more adventurous, try Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Deviled Portuguese Grilled Lobsters (pictured above). Fresh lobster tails are drizzled with olive oil and butter, topped with a Portuguese sausage-breadcrumb mixture and grilled until the shells turn red. Check out Food Network Magazine for more information on How to Prepare Live Lobster.
Just in case a lone guest is not a seafood lover (there’s always one!), most cookouts offer smoked kielbasa or grilled chicken as carnivore-pleasing counterparts. Duff’s Grilled Sausage With Spicy Sauce from Food Network offers a bold, hearty flavor and can be easily grilled on a stove-top – before the shrimp go on – while the lobster boils.
For traditional New England side dishes, you’ll surely want to serve corn on the cob, new potatoes, coleslaw and cornbread. Food 2’s recipe for Grilled Corn With Hoisin-Orange Butter is uniquely sweet and a tad salty. To free-up grill space, these can be made an hour before you eat; warm them up while you’re grilling the shrimp and brush them with more butter before serving.
For a light alternative to heavy mayonnaise-based summer salads, try Food.com’s recipe for New-Potato Salad With Lemon & Herb Dressing. New potatoes are the star here and are simply dressed with an olive oil-tarragon-mustard drizzle.
Add a bowl of Emeril’s Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw from Cooking Channel to round out the many flavors on your plate. The sweetness from the carrots and celery offsets the bite of vinegar in this lightly dressed and colorful coleslaw.