1 ~to 2 pounds kielbasa, optional~
1 ~to 2 pounds good slab bacon, in 2 pieces, optional~
6 ~pounds hard-shell clams, washed~
6 ~pounds mussels, washed and debearded~
2 ~pounds tiny new potatoes~
4 ~11/4 to 11/2-pound lobsters~
8 ~ears corn, shucked~
~Melted unsalted butter, optional~
Cook's note: Debearding mussels means to pull off the tough threads that are at the hinge end of the shell.
Put the meat in the bottom of a very large pot, like a lobster pot. Add clams and mussels, then the potatoes. Top with lobsters and corn and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and turn the heat to high.
Cook, shaking the pot a little every few minutes, for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and — using caution because of the danger of being scalded — check potatoes to see if they are tender. If not, re-cover and cook another 10 minutes.
Put the corn, meat, and lobsters on one or more platters. Cut the lobsters in half. Put the mollusks in a large bowl and ladle some of the cooking juices over them. Serve with melted butter, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
Source: The Minimalist Entertains by Mark Bittman