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This Crock-Pot® Express Pressure Cooker 6QT Clambake recipe makes for a delicious seafood dinner recipe that’s perfect for summer entertaining but easy enough for weeknight cooking.
If you’ve been here a while you know that I married a born and raised New Englander. While I was enjoying the Georgia summer delights of banana pudding and fried tomatoes, he was enjoying lobster rolls and clam chowder on the Cape. We fell in love with each other through sharing our different food upbringings and it has brought together some of the best memories we have as a couple. Now that we’re 11 years in, we like to take those recipes of our past and create new memories with our Texas friends. One, in particular, we love in the summer is to host a New England Clambake. Traditionally you’d cook a clambake outside but when it’s August in Houston, no way. We’ve modernized this traditional meal to be a kitchen clambake by using the Crock-Pot® Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker. It’s less clean up, it cooks quicker, and it makes for easy hosting. We typically do this as an “end of summer” casual dinner party where we all sit around the table eating the food with our hands picking at it family-style from trays. Something about eating food with your hands with your friends makes for good memories, doesn’t it? Here is how we set up hosting a pressure cooker clambake.
HOSTING A KITCHEN CLAMBAKE
This feeds 4-6 people, 6 being a light meal that I’ve also served appetizers with. If we have more guests or a super hungry crowd of 6, we use the leftover liquid in the pot and add another round of the non-liquid ingredients to make another batch. Since the Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker makes meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking, I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family eating. It gets meals to the table so fast that the second batch is finished cooking before the first one has been fully eaten! When we are done, cleaning up is a breeze because the six-quart non-stick cooking pot is dishwasher safe so I just toss it in with the rest of the serving ware from the meal.
KITCHEN CLAMBAKE RECIPE
Save $15 on Crock-Pot® Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker at Target until 7/29/19
You can prep all of your ingredients before guests arrive or if you want to get them in on the fun, here is how I approach it. Start by soaking 20 littleneck clams in water that’s been salted. It needs to sit for at least 20 minutes, do everything else in that time frame.
Add the cooking pot insert into the Crock-Pot® Express, press the “Keep Warm” button, and have your helpers dump everything into the Crock-Pot® Express in the following order.
- 1 cup of Chicken or Seafood Broth
- 1/2 cup of White Wine
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tablespoon of Hot Sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoon of Seafood Seasoning, stir it all together.
- 1 pound of Small Red Potatoes
- 3 ears of Corn ends removed and cut in half
- 1 Onion quartered
- 1 Small Lemon Halved
- 1/4 cup of Salted Butter cubbed
- 12 ounces Andouille sausage cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 pound of Mussels scrubbed, sorted, and debearded
Remove the clams from the salt water bath and scrub them. Sort for bad shells and ones that won’t close that need to be discarded. Add them on top of the mussels followed by 1/2 pound of shells on and deveined large or jumbo shrimp.
Close and lock the lid to the Crock-Pot® Express. Make sure the pressure release valve is set to close. Press the “Steam” button and bring the time down to 4 minutes. Press the “Start” button and the machine will begin to come to pressure. This varies between 6-10 minutes and then the Crock-Pot® Express will cook for 4 minutes. When done the machine will beep letting you know it’s finished, so go hand out with your guests in the meantime! When it’s ready carefully quick release the pressure from the pressure release valve. When the float valve in the handle drops, open the pot. Transfer the clambake with a slotted spoon to a serving tray.
We serve our clambakes with additional seafood seasoning and melted butter on the side for dipping. We also serve it family-style for people to have fun hanging around the table grabbing food as they want it!
This meal is easy to cook but if you’ve never worked with shellfish before, these things have been helpful to know! For this clambake, you’ll be getting fresh littleneck clams, mussels, and shrimp. It’s best to purchase the clams and mussels the day you plan to cook them as they are alive.
Some tips about clams and mussels. Remove them from their packaging and clean them as soon as you get home. For clams, you want to soak them in a salt and water mix for 20 minutes to an hour. This helps them release any sand or grit that is inside their shell. Once they soak remove them from the mixture and scrub them. If any have cracked shells or ones that won’t close, toss them. To get a clam to close it’s shell tap it on the side of the kitchen sink. It should shut, if not, it’s probably dead and you don’t want to eat it. So throw it out.
For mussels scrub them clean when you get home, no need to soak, but do remove any beards. Beards are the stringy seaweed looking things hanging outside of the mussel shell. Taking a towel, grab the beard and pull it hard towards the hinge. Toss the removed beard away. Remove any mussels with broken shells or that won’t close. You can test if a mussel will close the same way as the clams. If you are not cooking the clams and mussels right away store them in a bowl in the fridge with a wet towel sitting on top of the seafood for up to an hour.
As for shrimp, you want to cook these with the shell on so you’ll want to buy large to jumbo shrimp with the shells, no heads, and deveined. If all you can find is fully intact shrimp when you get home chop off the heads, but leave the shell on. Carefully run a knife down the back of the shrimp. Remove the black vein and discard it. Rinse the shrimp and store in a covered bowl in the fridge until ready to use, no more than 24 hours after buying.
- 1 cup Chicken or Seafood Broth
- 1/2 cup White Wine
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoon Seafood Seasoning
- 1 pound Small Red Potatoes
- 3 ears Corn End Removed & Halved
- 1 Small Sweet Onion Quartered
- 1 Small Lemon Halved
- 1/4 cup Salted Butter Cubed
- 12 ounce Andouille Sausage Sliced into 1-inch Slices
- 1 pound Mussels Cleaned & Bad Ones Tossed
- 5 cloves Garlic Minced
- 20 Littleneck Clams Cleaned & Bad Ones Tossed
- 1/2 pound Large to Jumbo Shrimp Deveined, Shells Still On
Devein the shrimp if needed. Clean and sort the mussels and clams as suggested under "Cleaning and Deveining Seafood".
Prep all your ingredients as mentioned in the ingredient list while the clams soak. Add the pot insert into the Crock-Pot® Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker. Press the "Keep Warm" button (a warm pot comes up to pressure quicker) and start adding the following ingredients in this order to the pot insert. Add in the broth, white wine, bay leaf, hot sauce, and seafood seasoning. Give it a stir with a slotted spoon. Add in the small red potatoes, corn, sweet onion, lemon, salted butter, Andouille sausage slices, the cleaned mussels and then the minced garlic. Finish cleaning your clams then add them straight to the pot and top them with the shrimp.
Add the top to the Crock-Pot® Express and lock it in place. Turn the steam release value to the SEALED position. Press the STEAM button on the Crock-Pot® Express. Drop the time down to 4 minutes using the minus button below the cooker's screen. Press start and it will begin to come to pressure and cook.
Once ready carefully Quick Release the steam release value, when the float value on the top of the handle drops, open your pressure cooker. With a slotted spoon transfer, your clambake to a sheet pan or serving platter. Serve with melted butter and extra seafood seasoning on the side.
CLAMS – Submerge clams in a bowl of water & salt for 20 minutes to let them open and release the sand in their shells. (During this process clean the rest of the seafood and add everything else to the pot.) After the time is up remove the clams from the water. Scrub the shells of any sand or grit. Tossing any that have broken shells or do not close when you tap their shells lightly against the sink. If not using right away, add them to an empty bowl with a wet paper towel on top of the clams. Place in the fridge for up to an hour.
MUSSELS – While the clams are in their saltwater bath clean your mussels. Put mussels in a colander and run cold water over them. Scrub their shells of any sand or grit. Tossing any that have broken shells or do not close when you tap their shells lightly against the sink. Remove any mussels with a beard (hair strings handing outside of the mussel) by using a towel and quickly pulling the beard towards the hinge of the shell. It should snap right off and not kill the mussel. If not using right away, add them to an empty bowl with a wet paper towel on top of the mussels. Place in the fridge for up to an hour.
SHRIMP – You can buy most shrimp from the seafood department of your grocery store with the heads removed and devein. If not, leaving the shells on remove the head from the body. Then run a knife down the back of the shrimp to open it. Remove the black vein running down the inside of the shrimp. Rinse and you're done.
This recipe is garlicky, salty, seafood perfection! It’s just tons of flavor in a super easy clean, chop, and dump recipe. It’s so easy that I’ll cut the recipe in half and serve it up as a weeknight recipe for two. Thanks to the Crock-Pot® Express’s 8 pre-set pressurized settings for various foods, a lot of the meals we cook now let us choose to eat sooner or we can use the slow cook setting to come back later to a delicious hot meal. Which in the summertime, is a serious advantage to have over being in a hot stuffy kitchen. You can also steam, brown, or sauté before programming, making one-pot meals easier than ever. No wonder it’s the leader in one-pot cooking!
We love that we’ve been able to share one of my husband’s fondest memories from living up North with our friends here in Texas. Plus, since we’re using a Crock-Pot® Express Crock Pressure Cooker we’re not stuck in the kitchen and get to make new memories with our friends. What is the food you cook in the summer that brings people together? Let us know if you try our favorite summer hosting recipe down below!
If you want to make your own Pressure Cooker Clambake for friends head to your local Target and save $15 on a Crock-Pot® Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker until 7/29/19! You can find it in the kitchen appliance aisle!