Michael Symon's Perfect Clambake
by scott feldman
Michael Symon is a renowned chef, cookbook author, and my dear friend. The Iron Chef and Cleveland native first changed the face of food with just four restaurants in the Midwest. Now he is cohost of ABC’s The Chew and host of Symon’s Suppers on the Cooking Channel. Out East with his family, you’ll most likely find him on the golf course, sipping Moscow mules, or manning the grill at home in Amagansett.
What’s on your barbecue when grilling out East?
I like to use the grill and smoker to make a little hanger steak, brisket, ribs, and pork butt with a ballpark-mustard barbecue sauce.
There are some incredible local ingredients and farm stands in the Hamptons—what are your favorite ingredients to cook with?
I can’t get enough fresh herbs, tomatoes, and local corn.
What are some of your favorite East End eateries?
Most of the eating is done at home, but I do really enjoy the Meeting House and Bostwick’s Chowder House.
What’s your fondest East End summer memory?
A wonderful round of golf at the fabulous Shinnecock [Hills Golf Club]. Let’s just say I made a very good putt on 18 that was quite lucrative.
If you weren’t a chef, you’d be...
A farmer and butcher.
Who is at the table for a great summer dinner party?
My wife, Lizzie, stepson Kyle, my parents, in-laws, Pap, and close friends.
Cleveland- Style Clambake
1 lb. smoked kielbasa, sliced in 1⁄2-inch disks
2 ears of corn, cut into 8 pieces
31⁄2 lb. littleneck clams
1 lb. shell-on medium (16- to 20-count) shrimp
2 tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted
1 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
2 Fresno chilies, thinly sliced into rings
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, cut in thirds
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
In a large pot with a lid, add the food in layers—the sausage first, followed by the corn, clams, and shrimp. Distribute the coriander, cumin, salt, onion, garlic, chilies, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and lemon over the top. Pour in the wine, cover, and cook over high heat until the clams open, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and any clams that do not open. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
To serve, Symon empties the contents of the pot into a large bowl.
photography by donna svennevik/abc via getty images (symon); copyright© 2009 by Donna Turner Ruhlman (clambake). Reprinted from "live to cook" by michael symon with michael ruhlman. copyright© 2009. published by clarkson potter, a division of random house, inc.