Tag Archives: Barbecue

Midwest Clambake

11 Jun
Painting of Clams by Mary E. Whelan

Painting of Clams by Mary E. Whelan

Who says you can’t have a true New England clambake in the Midwest? We did just that and it was a wonderful evening. With 12 dear friends in attendance, we sipped on Dark and Stormies, enjoyed couture deviled eggs and had a feast of clams, mussels and lobster out on the deck. Here are some photo highlights and recipes from the night.


The Dark and Stormy Bar

The Dark and Stormy Bar

Dark and Stormy:
This is a New England staple, and its namesake creates the portrait of a cold and rainy night on Martha’s Vineyard. To make this refreshing cocktail you only need a few things.


  1. 3 ounces  of Black-strap run (Goslings is typical)
  2. 5 ounces of Ginger beer (not ginger ale)
  3. Ice
  4. ¼ Lime
  5. 1 sprig of Mint


  • Mix the run and ginger beer together and pour over a tall glass full of ice
  • Add the lime and twist the sprig of mint into the cocktail
  • I recommend drinking out of a mason jar with a straw
  • Enjoy!
Clambake Cheese Platter

Clambake Cheese Platter


Catherine Merritt Clambake

Catherine Merritt Clambake

New England Clambake
This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Kitchen Clambake recipe. I was unsure of how to cook everything and after reading her recipe, I realized it’s quite easy. So I added my own ingredients and such, but used her recipe as the model.

Ingredients: (for 8-12)

  1. 8 dozen clams
  2. 4 pound of mussels
  3. 4 1.5 lb lobsters
  4. 5 pounds of red potatoes
  5. 5 ears of corn cut into 2” slices
  6. 1 pound chorizo
  7. 3 sweet onions diced
  8. 4 leeks sliced thin (only white parts)
  9. 1 shallot diced
  10. 5 garlic cloves
  11. 4 cups of dry white wine
  12. 1 stick of butter
  13. Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place pot on a burner at high heat
  • Add the stick of butter into a large pot for the bake
  • Once it melts, add the garlic, onions, shallotts and leeks, stir until well cooked (about 15 minutes)
  • Add in this order:  potatoes, corn, chorizo, clams, mussels lobsters
  • Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce heat and cook on medium high for another 15 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when the clams are open and the potatoes are tender
  • Serve on large platters and don’t forget graveyard bowls for the shells
  • Enjoy!






Southern BBQ Chicago Style

17 May

As a fan of southern style BBQ, I’m eager to check out Chef Cary Taylor’s summer menu at Wicker Park’s latest and greatest (and former Chez Lounge), The Southern. According to the Restaurant Intelegance Agency, The Southern’s getting into the warm-weather spirit with barbecue and raw oysters.

A Fried Chicken Dinner from The Southern

With BBQ season upon us (who doesn’t mind grilling in their jackets?)- The Southern is offering more elaborate and gourmet barbecue options. From the RIA:

Taylor’s fancy barbecue is so named for its innovative apricot-mustard barbecue sauce and accompanying local ingredients. Pork shoulder is the barbecued meat of choice, slathered in the sauce and served over Spence Farm wheat berries and Bare Knuckle Farm grilled ramps.

Oysters on the half shell are a refreshing counterpoint. Taylor is currently featuring oysters from the Virginia coast, which he serves with a Southern-style garnish of pepper jelly made with bell peppers and jalapeños. As the chef explains, pepper jelly is a traditional condiment in the South, and he likes it with oysters for its combination of spicy and sweet. Crushed saltines add a bit of crunch.

In addition to the barbecue fare at The Southern, delicious cocktails are a plenty, from their bacon-Bourbon Bloody Marys to the Magnolia punch bowl featuring Champagne, Grand Marnier and OJ. The menu and cocktail list looks promising,we’re eager to head over and check it out.