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Champagne at the Table: New England-Style Clam Bake

Welcome to Champagne at the Table, where we bring you monthly seasonal fair to pair with your fatcork bubbles. Whether you're sipping alongside a spicy curry or snacking on some coveted caviar, there's always a place for Champagne at the Table.

Gimonnet-Oger Grande Réserve Premier Cru

This mature Champagne is bold and bright with a soul that dances out of the bottle and into your glass. 

Flecks of green bounce against soft yellow tones. Fat golden pearls tumble about. Seductive aromas of grapefruit and meyer lemon citrus give way to flakey brioche and warm honey. A light blanket of must—that beautiful damp cellar aroma—alludes to an elegance that comes with age.

This exquisite chardonnay dominant blend has a cashmere-like texture on the palate—smooth, delicate and rich. Integrated acidity and oxidative notes speak of extended time on the lees. Carrying through on the palate, super fresh notes of citrus zest bring balance and brightness. Tart notes of sliced green apple put on quite the show. Expect a lively and fresh finish. 

New England-Style Clam Bake

The classic seafood boil, starring a long table of friendly faces and eager appetites, is what late summer is all about. Impressive but simple, each ingredient shines on its own—buttery, salty shellfish, sweet corn and tender potatoes, coming together in the end as one delicious jumble.

We couldn’t think of a more heavenly match for this recipe than JeanLuc Gimonnet’s trés chic premier cru blend, an unctuous Champagne that both complements the body and richness of a late summer clambake and offers contrast to the spicy mayo and chili lemon butter served on the side.

This straightforward and easy-to-execute meal is a great way to gather with your favorite friends and family for a laid back evening of jokes, cheers and messy hands. We recommend having an ample amount of grilled bread at the table for soaking up every last drop of tasty, salty broth!


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs clams
  • 1 ½ lbs mussels
  • 1kg red-skinned potatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 corn on the cobs, halved
  • 12 raw langoustines or large shell-on prawns
  • 1 ⅔ cup dry white wine
  • 2 ½ oz unsalted butter
For the jalapeño mayo
  • 5 oz mayonnaise
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chillies, deseeded if you like, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños, drained and finely chopped, plus a splash jalapeño pickle juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
For the chilli and lemon butter
  • 3 ½ oz unsalted butter
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • Juice ½ lemon

Preparation
  1. Soak the clams and mussels, and heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Cut the potatoes into large chunks, put them in a large saucepan with plenty of salt and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 7-8 minutes, then drain and steam dry for a minute or so.
  2. Pour the oil into a large roasting pan, then put it in the oven for a few minutes to heat up. When the oil is shimmering, carefully tip in the potatoes and add the corn. Toss everything around to coat in the hot oil and season with pepper. Roast for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  3. After the potatoes and corn have been in the oven for 30 minutes, prepare the shellfish. Rinse the langoustines, drain and rinse the clams and mussels, then put them in another large roasting pan—preferably one that fits the whole width of the oven. Cut sheets of foil and baking paper long enough to cover the roasting pan.
  4. Put the wine and 75g butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn up the heat and boil until the butter has melted, then pour over the langoustines, clams and mussels. Working quickly, cover the contents of the roasting pan with baking paper, then enclose with the sheet of foil, scrunching at the edges to make a tight seal.
  5. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. By now the clams and mussels should be open and the langoustines should be piping hot with opaque flesh. If a large number of clams and mussels are still closed, give them a good stir and put back in the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes more, shaking now and then.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise ingredients together in a bowl, taste, season and set aside. Melt 100g butter very slowly over low heat. While it’s melting, set a sieve over a bowl and line with a paper towel. Once the butter has fully melted, pour it into the sieve, letting the white solids stay behind at the bottom of the pan. Add the chilli and lemon to the strained butter along with some salt, then position the bowl into warm water to keep the mixture liquid.
  7. To serve, either mix the shellfish, potatoes and corn together and serve in individual bowls with some of the juices poured over, or put everything on a big platter or board and place it in the middle of the table for people to dig in. Pour the seafood juices into a bowl and serve with a spoon for drizzling. Finish off the spread with the mayo, chilli and lemon butter and hunks of warm, grilled bread.

Bon appétite! 


Recipe via Delicious Magazine