It’s the 4th. of July weekend, and I do mean weekend this year! This means baseball (such as it is during this pandemic), picnics (socially distanced of course), and backyard barbecues!
I know things are different this year and “normal” is anything but business as usual. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the birth of our nation in a grand way, just maybe not in the same way we’ve always done.
For many this weekend means firing up the grill for that all important barbecue. Sure grilled burgers, dogs, and steaks and smoked meats are 4th. of July favorites, but if you’re looking for something different read on!
I remember spending one 4th. of July in Bar Harbor, Maine. We stayed at the Wonder View Inn which was built on the site where Mary Roberts Rinehart’s estate once stood. The hotel had wonderful views overlooking Acadia National Park; and the site it was built on had an interesting history.
During the 4th. of July holiday Bar Harbor was decorated in full regalia, it has after all been voted #1 in America by the Today Show for it’s 4th. of July celebrations which includes parades and fireworks. The fireworks were spectacular, we viewed it from our room’s balcony. But the best thing I remembered from our 4th. of July vacation in Bar Harbor was the lobster! I seemed that every restaurant in town had a lobster special, and why not, Maine is definitely lobster country! They had everything from lobster rolls to lobster bakes going on.
So this year I decided that a Lobster Bake was how we’d celebrate our July 4th. holiday. Since going to Bar Harbor is not an option this year I thought bringing a Bar Harbor tradition home would be a great idea.
A traditional Maine lobster bake are pots of lobsters, mussels, clams, shrimp, corn, and potatoes all covered in seaweed and steamed. It’s usually steamed at the beach on hot rocks piled with seaweed and the other ingredients and covered with a large tarp, the seaweed steams the seafood to perfection. Of course you can dig a hole in the sand at a beach and do it the traditional way, but there’s a much easier option. I make my Lobster Bake on a sheet pan and bake it in the oven, easy peasy!
Here’s how I do it!
Easy Lobster Bake
6 – 10 Lobster Tails about 4 oz. each (I usually make 2 tails per person)
1 Lb. Extra Large Shrimp (peeled and de-veined but leave the tail on)
1 Lb. Clams
1 Lb. Hot and Spicy Sausage or any type of Sausage you prefer – cut in 1-2″ chunks
6 Red Potatoes – Cut into quarters
3 Cobs of Corn cut into thirds or 6 – 8 frozen mini corn cobs
2 Lemons cut in to wedges
4 Sticks Butter
2 Tbs. Garlic minced
1 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
1 Bunch parsley for garnish
Boil potatoes and corn in water for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are half cooked.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line very large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt 2 sticks of butter and add 1 Tbs. garlic and Old Bay. Still until well combined. Cook until butter turns golden brown, be careful not to burn this mixture. Remove from heat and set in a warm spot.
Drain potatoes and corn in a large bowl.
Cut each tail down the back but not all the way thru, this will make taking the meat out of the shell easier.
Place lobster tails, shrimp, clams, and sausage in bowl with the potatoes and corn.
Pour melted butter mixture over all and gently mix until everything is coated in butter.
Arrange everything on to the sheet in a single layer.
Place wedges of 1 lemon on the sheet.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until clams open, shrimp is pink, and lobster meat is white.
Meanwhile melt remaining 2 sticks of butter and add remaining garlic. Cook until butter is golden brown. Transfer to dipping bowls for serving.
Place remaining lemon wedges on a plate for serving.
Remove pan from oven, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Serve with bowls of corn slaw and biscuits or crusty bread.
Give each person a bowl of butter of dipping and allow them them to serve themselves from the baking sheet.