The Culinary Architect: An easy grilled clambake in a bag

Alexandra Troy
Clambake Preparation

Making a traditional clambake is no easy task. First, you need to find a beach where it is legal to dig a pit 3-feet deep by 4-feet wide. Then you need rocks, seaweed, and a tarp. Not to mention a lot of time! Why not recreate this traditional New England feast with little effort and get lots of flavor?

The “secret sauce” to recreating a clambake with ease is The Reynold’s ® Oven Bag, sold in supermarkets near the aluminum foil section. Just take one bag and fill it with all the ingredients (you can even set this up in the morning for evenings’ entertaining), seal the bag tight so your seafood will steam and the mussels and clams will open, and grill for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from grill open and serve and you have a feast.

I take all the leftover seafood and turn it into a delectable meal the next day. Follow the following easy recipes and you will have two feasts for the price of one. How easy is that?

Menu Day 1
(Serves 4 people with leftovers for Day 2)

Potato Leek Soup*
Grilled Clambake in a Bag

Menu Day 2
(Serves 4 people)

Left-over “Paella”

*Recipe Not Given

Grilled Clambake in a Bag

3 ears of corn, cut into fourths
16 shrimp, 10-15 shrimp to the lb., cleaned
1 lb. clams, cleaned
2 lbs. mussels, cleaned and debearded
15 very small red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 stick butter, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 to 6 sprigs parsley for garnish
6 lemon wedges

1. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees.

2. Place all of the ingredients in a Reynolds ® Oven Bag. Fold to seal.

3. Place on grill and cook for 45 to 55 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and potatoes are tender.

4. Cut open bag, pour off the liquid and place in a bowl for dipping and serve.

(NB. If you do not have a grill, you can make this in a 400 degree oven. Just place your filled bag on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.)

Left-over “Paella”

Spray olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 oz. chorizo, sliced thinly. (I get mine from Despana, 86-17 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights.; 718-721-0341)
1 cup rice — paella. (I use Arroz Cebolla from Despana.)
2 cups leftover broth from the above recipe
1 scallion, chopped (optional)

1. Spray a pan with olive oil and saute shallots and garlic until golden. Add tomatoes, saute for 5 minutes. Add chorizo, saute for 5 minutes more. Add rice and saute for 5 more minutes.

2. Add 1 cup of left-over broth (if you don’t have enough, add butter to equal 1 cup). Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and cook until rice is done, approximately 45 to 55 minutes.

3. While rice is cooking, remove corn from cobs, slice potatoes into quarters. Remove shells from shellfish.

4. When rice is cooked, add everything, i.e. clams, mussels, corn, shrimp from clambake to rice mixture. Stir.

5. Sprinkle with sliced scallion, if desired and serve.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35 year-old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties. Need help making your parties delicious and stress-free, call 516-484-7431 and you will be a guest at your own party. If you make any of these recipes, send me a photo at

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Alexandra Troy

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