Monday, March 2, 2009

Clambakes - Inland Style

Kitchen Clambake with Herbed Butter Sauce

Bouquet Garni for Seasoning: Place 12-inch square of cheesecloth on work surface. Place some fresh parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in center. Roll up and tie with string. Place bouquet garni in pot along with the other ingredients below.

1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausage 2 large yellow onions, sliced in rings
5 or 6 stalks of fresh celery, cut into long segments 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 pounds very small red potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded (optional)1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell (optional)2 cups dry white wine
1 cup butter, room temperature3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped1 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon dried basil
Lemon wedges

Slice the kielbasa diagonally into about two-inch thick segments and set aside. Saute the onions and celery in the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until the onions start to brown. Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first, the potatoes, salt, and pepper; then the kielbasa, little neck clams, mussels, and shrimp. Pour in the wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes. The clams and mussels should open when they are done. Place the seafood, potatoes, and sausages to a large bowl. Season the broth in the pot with salt and pepper. Ladle the broth over the seafood before serving or serve it on the side. Avoid any sand left in the bottom of the pot. Melt butter, garlic, oregano and basil in a small saucepan. Serve in ramekins alongside the clambake with fresh lemon wedges.

Sand Dollar Cookies

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Slivered almonds and cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in almond extract. Combine the flour and salt; gradually stir into butter and sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to one hour. Roll dough between waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a round cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Lightly brush with egg. Place almond slices in a sand dollar pattern and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for two minutes in pan before moving to wire racks. Makes about one dozen.

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