Karen Schiely / Akron Beacon Journal

This clambake plate was prepared by sous chef Brian Jones at the Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth, Ohio. The clambake is a regional tradition dating to the 1800s.

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  • Stovetop clambake Serves 6 Recipe from chef Bob Sferra, Culinary Occasions. Notes: If clam juice isn’t available, or you don’t have enough, use water or low-salt chicken broth, or a combination to equal two quarts. Recipe can easily be doubled. For 12 dozen clams, use an 8- to 10-gallon pot, or two smaller stockpots. INGREDIENTS 3 quarts clam juice (see note) Several sprigs fresh thyme 1 to 2 ribs celery, broken in half 1 small onion, peeled and quartered 1 to 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half 1 clove garlic 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning 2 dozen small red skin potatoes, well-scrubbed, or 6 sweet potatoes, cut in half 6 dozen middleneck clams, scrubbed Melted butter, for serving INSTRUCTIONS

    In a large stockpot (3- to 4-gallon capacity) place clam juice, celery, carrot, onion, thyme, garlic and Old Bay Seasoning. Bring to a good simmer over medium heat.

    Fit a steamer basket into the pot to fit just above the broth. Add potatoes to steamer insert and layer clams on top. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam about 15 minutes or longer until clams’ shells have popped open and potatoes are fork tender. Serve clams with melted butter for dipping.

  • Perfect barbecued chicken Serves 6-8 Recipe from chef Bob Sferra, Culinary Occasions. INGREDIENTS 2 whole chickens, about 4 pounds each 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder 1 1/2 teaspoons. kosher or sea salt 1/2 teaspoon. garlic powder 2teaspoons canola oil 2 lemons 2 bay leaves Olive oil Favorite barbecue sauce INSTRUCTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

    Thoroughly combine the brown sugar, pepper, paprika, chile powder, salt and garlic powder.

    Truss the chickens, drizzle with the canola oil and coat on all sides evenly with the spice mixture. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of the lemons over the chickens. Place two lemon halves and one bay leaf into the cavity of each chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a roasting pan, cover with foil and roast, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes to crisp the skin.

    Allow the chickens to cool enough to handle, then cut each into 8 pieces: 2 each, legs, thighs, breasts and wings.

    Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let burn until covered with white ash. Leave the coals heaped in a mound in the center of the grill. Do not spread out. Sprinkle a handful of wood chips over the coals.

    For a gas grill, preheat on high. Turn one burner off, leave the other burners on high. Place wood chips in a metal chip box or wrap the chips in aluminum foil, pierce a few holes in the foil, and place the packet on the heat source.

    Arrange the chicken around the cooler, outer perimeter of the grill, not directly over the coals, and cover the grill. For a gas grill, place the chicken over the burner that is turned off. Close the lid.

    Cook the chicken, turning once, until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. After 10 minutes add a handful of chips to the fire or heat source. There’s no need to add more briquettes to the charcoal fire.

    Lift the cooking rack from the grill with the chicken still on the rack, and set aside. Spread out the coals. Return the rack to the grill. For a gas grill, turn all burners to medium. Arrange the chicken over the entire surface of the cooking rack. Brush the chicken with sauce, turn the chicken, and cover the grill. Cook for 5 minutes. Brush the unglazed side of the chicken, turn, cover and grill until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced at the bone, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipes: Time for a real nice clambake

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am

Steaming clams in briny broth, the last of the season’s sweet corn, tender potatoes, perfectly charred grilled chicken, maybe a bowl of clam chowder, a lobster or a steak to round out the meal – that’s right, it’s clambake time.

John Dziorney, owner of Bay Lobsters Fish Market & Cafe on Darrow Road in Twinsburg, Ohio, said he'll sell more than 20,000 clams during a typical October weekend to wholesale and retail customers – most of them retail sales for folks who want to host their own clambakes.

Dziorney sells a wide variety of clams, but said littleneck (about the size of a quarter), middleneck (about the size of a 50-cent piece) and Boston steamers, a soft-shell clam, are his most popular for clambakes. He also offers cherrystones and topnecks.

Because they are the smallest, littlenecks are the most tender. Boston steamers have a skin over the meat that has to be torn off before it can be eaten, but Dziorney said they are becoming more popular because folks eat them when visiting Boston and want to try them at home.

Hosting a clambake at home is easy, and doesn’t require much more than a large stockpot.

A reliable seafood dealer typically sells clams already scrubbed clean and tied inside mesh bags that are ready for steaming.

Typical clambake menus consist of clams, steamed potatoes or sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, clam chowder and grilled or barbecued chicken. You can add a lobster or steak, or serve them instead of the chicken.

Read more articles by Lisa Abraham



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