“I’ve only been to a handful of real clambakes in my life,” said Mike Wiley, co-chef and co-owner of three restaurants in Portland, Maine. “I mean the kind by the ocean, cooked with fresh seaweed and seawater. But I’ve tested countless clambake recipes at our restaurants.”
Believe it or not, a clambake means a completely doable stovetop meal; this one comes together in under a half-hour. And yet this straightforward recipe produces a spread fit for a celebration, too. All you need is a big pot fitted with a perforated steamer basket. For speed, ask your fishmonger to break down a lobster for you. Then steam its tail and claws along with fresh clams and mussels, a soft-boiled egg, potatoes and sliced bacon or another smoky pork product.
“This is about visceral eating,” Mr. Wiley said. “Cracking the lobster open with your bare hands, dunking a potato in warm butter and popping open a few beers.”