Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tony's New England Clam Bake

My cousin, Beth, sent me this info, by request:

New England Clambake
Suggested Supplies, Food and Procedures

Long handle shovels
Long handle rakes
Sturdy Gloves
Paper Bag or mesh netting
Water supply


Shell fish
Sweet corn


Four racks.

Supplies:          16   2 ft lengths of 2” x 6’ boards

4     2 ft x 2 ft  pieces of  ½” chicken wire.



Rope (sisal or other natural fiber)

Make four box frames by connecting the 2 ft lengths

Attach the wire to what will become the bottom side of the box frame.

Handles:  Drill two sets of holes on opposite sides of the box and feed rope through the holes.  Knot the ends.

Site Preparation

Dig a shallow (9 inch) pit to dimensions that will contain the firewood (a bit larger than rack size).

Line the pit with the rocks,  stack the firewood onto rocks and burn. Occasionally, lift the rocks to the upper surface and top-off with more wood to maintain heat. Burn the wood to heat the rocks for approximately 2 and ½ hours and then allow fire to burn out for ½ hour. This is a good time to prepare food for racks and soak canvas in (sea) water. A few buckets of water or a hose is easier to handle than carrying a large wet canvas.

Preparation of food for loading racks:

Lobsters (rubber bands removed from claws) for first rack. Bottom of stack

Shellfish for second rack.

Corn for third rack.

Bag of Fish, Sausage and Onion for fourth rack. Fish should be wrapped separately in cheesecloth or in a paper bag to prevent splitting/separating .

Potatoes into fifth rack (top of stack). Remember: potatoes take the most time and may need to be cut in half.

Preparation for loading racks onto heated rocks/rockweed:

Stack loaded racks a short distance from the windward side of the pit. Wet canvases are best placed to windward also, a short distance from the loaded racks.


Pull rocks from fire and clear out all coals. Any remaining coals will impart a smoky taste, this taste is optional and personal.

Replace rocks into pit.

Cover hot rocks with rockweed.

Loading of racks onto heated rocks/seaweed:

Load Potatoes first, Bagged Fish second, Corn and Shellfish in that order.

DO NOT LOAD LOBSTERS ONTO ROCKS/ROCKWEED AT THIS TIME. This is to avoid overcooking while people are eating.

Cover with canvases, seal all edges with logs to maintain heat, the canvas will billow up.

After 20 minutes uncover and serve only the Shellfish.

Cover remaining racks back up immediately, to maintain heat.

After 20 minutes uncover and serve Bagged Fish, Sausage and Onion, Corn and Potatoes.

At this time put Lobster rack on rocks/rockweed and recover with canvases and tarp. Allow Lobster to cook for 20 minutes, uncover lobster rack, serve and enjoy.



Firewood: Enough to heat the rocks for approximately 2 and 1/2  hours. Starter wood and hardwood.

Rocks: DRY! Wet rocks can dangerously explode. Approximately football or cannon ball size which can be lifted with the shovels and will maintain heat. Enough to exceed the dimensions of the racks.

Racks:  Usually wooden with a wire bottom, Rope handles are optional. Each 24 inch square rack will accommodate food for approximately 40 people.

Rockweed: Rockweed with the small water-holding pods is available at Barrington and Warren River Bridge locations. Enough to cover rocks to a height of 12 or more inches. Most easily gathered at or one hour before low tide. Rockweed can also “top off” the racks of food.

Canvas:  Large enough to cover the stacked racks w/ excess amount for sealing to hold in steam.       Canvas will contain the steam so it is necessary to have at least 3 layers plus a tarp.

Two long handle shovels. For lifting and moving hot rocks and wood.

2 long handle rakes. For lifting and moving hot rocks and hot wood.

Sturdy Gloves. For lifting and moving wood and racks.

Sturdy high quality plates are essential for the three stages of food servings (Shellfish, Vegetables and bagged items, Lobster).

Water hose for emergency.


Potatoes need more heat than any other item so small Potatoes are advisable. Good choices: Red Bliss/ New potatoes, New gourmet.

Paper Bag or mesh netting to hold:

            Fish: Good choices: Cod, Haddock, …Wrap in cheesecloth and place in bag.

            Sausage: Good choices: Linguica, Bratwurst … place in bag.

            Onion: Good choices:Vidalia, Spanish, White, Yellow Cut in half, peel and place in bag.

Shell fish: Mussels, Soft shell steamers. Steamers are usually about three times more expensive than Mussels.

Sweet corn: Shucked

Lobster: Chick or larger.

Butter: Melted


Approximate amounts of food per person.

Lobster -1 1/4 -1 1/2 lb.

Mussels - 1/3 lb.

Soft-shell steamers - 1/3 lb.

Fish – ¼ lb.

Sausage – ¼ lb.

Corn – 1 each

Onion – 1 each, 3 onions per lb.

Potatoes – 1 each, 3 potatoes per lb.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Latkas ganked from The Shekel

Maccabee-Worthy Latkas
From The Shekel

Ingredients: 4 large baking potatoes, 1 large Onion, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of flour

Step 1. Peel potatoes, and cut into chunks. Peel the Onion (a large Vidalia is nice if the kids don't like a sharp tasting onion) and cut into 4 sections, one for each potato.

Step 2. Get out your trusty food processor and use the grater blade with the largest holes. (If you don't have one, use a grater, again using the large hole size).

Step 3. Grate one potato at a time, dropping in the quarter of the onion into the grater as you put the chunks in so the onion gets mixed in well. Continue until all the potato and onion is grated.

Step 4. Here comes the "manly" part: In a colander over a bowl, press the potato latka mixture down hard, pressing out the moisture into the bowl below. Use some paper towels to press down and get as much moisture out as you can. Then transfer the drier mix to a bowl.

Step 5. Beat three eggs until well mixed, then add the eggs and up to 1/2 a cup of all purpose flour to the mix and stir in until well mixed and you don't see any more flour.

Step 6. Heat a frying pan and add a generous quantity of oil to it, at least 1/4 inch.

Step 7. Use a soup spoon and take a scoop of the mix and place into the hot oil and tamp down to form a latka. Repeat until you have 3-4 latkas happily cooking in the pan.

Step 8. Cook until golden, brown and delicious, remove from the pan, place on a plate on some paper towel to drain and make more until the mix is done.

Step 9. Serve with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Franceshina Sandwiches

Home Recipes Oporto Famous Sandwich - Francesinha Recipe
From gourmetana 2 years ago

Add yours 30 minutes to make Serves 1 In portuguese "Francesinha" means little french girl. It's said this is an invention of a returned emigrant from France. It is a great sandwich and its sauce is a big secret! Nobody really knows the true sauce! Read more 
Sandwich: shopping list
2 slices of white bread shopping list
2 slices of smoked ham shopping list
4 slices of cheese shopping list
1 grilled sausage shopping list
1 fried or roasted slice of beef shopping list
Both the sausage and the beef should be cooked or reheated before assembling the sandwich shopping list
Sauce: shopping list
1 beer shopping list
1 cube of chicken stock shopping list
1 tbsp butter shopping list
2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste shopping list
1/4 cup brandy or Port shopping list
1/4 cup milk shopping list
1 tbsp cornstarch shopping list
chilli flakes to taste
1 bay leaf
Dissolve cornstarch into the milk and add all the ingredients. Blend the liquid mix on a food processor.
Put it into a pan over low heat and add the bay leaves . Stir it until it starts to boil. It's ready - reserve.
Assemble the sandwich and save 2 slices of cheese.
Put the sandwich on a plate and place the 2 slices of cheese on top.
Pour the sauce over the sandwich (should be hot, so the cheese melts).


From http://www.dashrecipes.com/recipes/sunday-dinner/vera-farmiga-borscht.html
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in ¾-inch cubes
4 bay leaves
2 quarts beef stock
2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 medium-size fresh beets, boiled, skinned, and shredded
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small can tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 lemons, if you prefer)
1 handful fresh dill, minced
1 handful fresh parsley, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream (optional)
At a glance:
Servings: 6
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours 30 min

1. In a large pot, heat the oil on high for 30 seconds. Add the beef cubes and bay leaves. Sauté until golden brown. Pour in the stock and reduce the heat.
2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Simmer on low for 2 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender, making sure the soup never boils. Add the beets and cabbage during the last half hour of cooking.
3. Spoon in the tomato paste and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add a little hot water if the soup is too thick. Stir in the dill and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Vera's Tips:
For a bolder taste, substitute lamb. I like to use lamb rib chops or loin chops.
Homemade stock is preferred for a deeper, more heartfelt flavor.
Serve the borscht with lightly toasted and buttered whole wheat Portuguese ciabatta rolls.

Serves: 6 Per serving: 330 calories, 10g carbs, 16g protein, 25g fat, 450mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 1g fiber

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pretzel Bites

Another totally ganked recipe from Just Get Off Your Butts and Bake.

Texas size Rhodes Frozen roll dough

*as many as you like – each roll makes four bites

coarse salt, parmesan, garlic, cinnamon & sugar

Vanilla glaze (optional)

Take a thawed roll. Cut it in four equal sections. Place dough bites on greased sheets. I placed five across and five down on large baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and let dough rise until double in size. (about 35-45 minutes) Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. When dough has risen, plop about 10 pieces into the boiling water, tossing gently for about 45 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon, and place bites on paper towels to drain slightly. Move bites to greased baking sheets, and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until done and golden brown.

Brush bites with melted butter, sprinkle with Kosher or Sea Salt, garlic and toss in Parmesan cheese. You can also make Cinnamon and Sugar bites. Make a mixture of Cinnamon and sugar: About 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and mix together well. After you butter the pretzel bites, toss in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

You can serve the Parmesan Pretzel bites with a cheddar dip, and the Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzel bites with Vanilla glaze. So yummy . . . so simple!


1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract.

Combine sugar, milk, butter and vanilla and mix well.


1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 1/2 to 2 cups of grated Cheddar Cheese.

Melt the butter in a med. size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until blended, and

butter has turned lightly golden brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar Cheese until smooth and all of the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Shake a few red pepper flakes into sauce for added zing!