Friday, August 16, 2013

Portuguese Clam Boil: East Coast Meets West Coast

As some of you may have seen, I celebrated my twenty-something-th birthday this week. Yes, I grew up in one of those families who celebrated "birthday week", so unfortunately The Mr. had to follow suit. I will say, he is a fantastic surprise-planner though. And I'll admit, I have my doubts at times that he'll follow through but I'm never short of amazed with what he comes up with, and this year was no exception. 

This year, I was feeling a little blue not being in New England during the summer. For those of you who have not experienced Lobster Rolls on the Cape, strolling the Boston Public Gardens or sipping Del's Lemonade in Newport...go. do. it. NOW. For those of you who have, you can sympathize.  Anyway, when The Mr. walked in with a big box from Santa Monica Seafood I knew I was in for a big dose of home! With a pound of mussels, a pound of clams, and a 2 1/2 pound lobster (I named him Sam), it was time for a clam boil. 

First thing's first. You have to get your clams and mussels into cold water with black pepper ASAP. This helps clean them and the pepper [supposedly] makes the clams "cough" out their sand. Hey, I'm not the one who made this up, it's just how my mom taught me and how her mom taught her.

Oh Oh! But wait! There's more! (sounding like an info-mercial now) We also found [what claimed to be] linguica at the local supermarket, it was a birthday miracle! Now, I had all the fixing for the perfect Portuguese Clam Boil.

You know you live in California when you have to use Mexican beer in your clam boil! :-P Use enough so it covers just to the top of the linguica and onions. Add water if you need more liquid.

Can't forget about adding in the classic hot dogs and breakfast sausage. You wrap them up in paper towels and steam them on top. And look at that... thoughtful husband and renowned hand model all in one!

Clams and mussels go into a large stock pot (linguica and onions are underneath) and they get a good shake of Goya Adobo seasonings and a spoonful of crushed red pepper.

Put the wrapped hot dogs and sausage in a steamer on top of the clams. If you don't have one, it's totally find to just put it directly on top of the shells. Put a lid on everything and let it steam up!

Time for Sam's final plunge! Boil in a separate pot of water for about 10 minutes or until Sam is bright red.

Once the clams and mussels have steamed open, you are good to go! Make sure your sausage and onions are cooked as well.

Ladle the broth into one cup and melted butter into another for cleaning and dipping. Enjoy!

1 lb. mussels
1 lb. clams
2.5 lb. lobster
1 can of beer
1 large onion
1 package of linguica
1/2 package of breakfast sausage
1 hot dog per person
mini red bliss potatoes (optional)
Adobo seasonings
crushed red pepper
melted butter (for dipping)


1. Cut onion into large quarters, cut linguica into chunks and put at the bottom of the pot. Add one can of beer.
2. Add clean mussels and clams to the top of the onions and add enough water to just about cover them. Season well with Adobo, crushed red peppers, or salt and pepper.
3. Next, layer wrapped hot dogs and sausage on top of the shells or in a separate steamer. Begin cooking your lobster at this point.
4. Bring everything to a boil for about 15-20 minutes or until the shells have opened up.
5. Remove all the goodies from the pot and arrange on a large platter. Serve with a mug full of broth and a mug full of melted butter.