Grilled Seafood Platter:
Grilled and Baked Clams with Garlic
These have the taste of the grill and the luscious texture and heat of being baked. The ultimate clambake recipe that gives the clams everything they need. If you use larger clams, chop the meat and put it back inside the shells.
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
40 Littleneck clams, thoroughly washed
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 scallions, minced
½ cup dry white wine
4 large cloves garlic, minced
Zest from 1 and juice from 2 large lemons
Freshly ground black pepper
1 – 1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped basil
1. Preheat the grill.
2. Cook the clams: Drop the clams on the grill until they open. Remove and reserve. Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the scallions to the skillet with a pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook over high heat until the liquid reduces by half. Whisk in 2 more tablespoons butter. Set aside.
3. Make the breadcrumb mix: Place the remaining butter in the bowl of a food processor and add the garlic, the lemon juice and lemon zest from 1 lemon. Pulse to blend. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix in 1 cup of the breadcrumbs, parsley and basil. Add more breadcrumbs if needed. Taste for seasoning.
4. Prepare and bake the clams: Detach each clam from its shell and put the meat back in the bottom part of each shell. Discard the other half of each shell. Mix any cooking liquid from the clams with the cream. Pour a touch of the cream mixture on top of each clam and immediately mold some of the breadcrumb mixture on top so the clam body is covered. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
5. Bake and serve: Bake for 12-15 minutes or until hot. Preheat the broiler and broil them for a minute, watching them constantly so they don’t burn. Remove them from the oven. Top with remaining lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Grilled and Seared Scallops
These have the flavor of the grill and then get the benefit of a sear. It gives the scallop the best of the both worlds. It’s quick to cook so do this last and already have the clams hot and baked and ready to go so you can just sit down and enjoy the whole thing!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16 medium-sized “dry diver” sea scallops
2 medium shallots, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large lemons, peeled and cut into “sections”
1. Grill the scallops: Preheat the grill. Additionally, heat a large skillet on the grill. Brush the scallops lightly on both sides with some of the olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and place on the hottest part of the grill. “Mark” them on the first side for 2 minutes. Turn on the second side and cook for an additional minute.
2. Sear the scallops: Add the remaining olive oil to the cast iron skillet.When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the scallops and sear (until they brown) for 2 minutes on the first side. Cook until they brown on the first side, 2-3 minutes. Turn the scallops on their second side and cook for an additional minute. Remove them from the pan and let them rest.
3. Make a little sauce: Add the minced shallot and garlic to the pan where the scallops were cooked. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cook them until they become translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon sections and juice.
4. Serve the scallops: Arrange the scallops on a serving platter or individual plates. Top with lemon sections and sauce.
Grilled Vegetables with Tahini Lemon Dressing
Make the dressing in advance and just grill the vegetables when ready to eat. The pinch of sugar adds a great sweetness that is needed with all of the citrus.
The juice from 2 large lemons
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons Tahini paste
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch strips or rounds
2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch strips or rounds
2 bell peppers, quartered and seeded
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
The juice from 2 medium limes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3-5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1. Make the vinaigrette: In the blender, blend all of the ingredients on low to medium speed until combined. Taste for seasoning.
2. Preheat the grill.
3. Grill the vegetables: Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on two baking sheets and brush with the oil. Season with salt and a dusting of paprika. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the grill and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Top with an even layer of the sugar. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the lime juice and dressing. Taste for seasoning.
Limeade with Watermelon Ice Cubes
You can add vodka or gin to this drink easily. You can also round out the flavors with some orange or lemon juice if you want it to be less tart…
Watermelon ice cubes:
4 cups watermelon pieces, (no rind, no seeds)
¾ cup water
¾ cup sugar
6-8 ounces fresh lime juice
14-20 fresh mint leaves
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: none
Yield: 4 servings
1. Make the watermelon ice cubes: Puree the watermelon and honey in the blender until smooth. Pour into 2 standard size square ice cube trays. Freeze.
2. Make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and shut off the heat. Cool.
3. Make the cocktails: In a medium pitcher, mix together the lime juice with 6-8 ounces syrup depending on desired sweetness. Stir in about ½-1 cup club soda. Pour over four “highball” glasses with 3 watermelon cubes and some mint leave