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Make a Great Clambake at Home!

New England clambakes are a great way to celebrate Labor Day, but you don't have to be in New England, or even near a beach for that matter, to make one.

First enjoyed by the Native Americans as a way to celebrate the bounty of the sea, a clambake is traditionally done over a rock-lined pit dug into the sand.

But you can make one right at home, as Laurence Edelman, executive chef of Manhattan's Mermaid Inn restaurant, demonstrated on "The Early Show" Monday.

He added a special Bloody Mary recipe for good measure!

The Mermaid Inn Clambake

Serves 4-6 people

Prep time, 30 minutes
Cooking time 30-35 minutes

6 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh oregano
3 sprigs parsley
2 pounds seaweed, available at your local fishmonger
2 each 1.5 pound live Maine lobsters, killed by swiftly impaling the area high on the back, right below the head
5 cloves of garlic, skin left on
12 cherrystone clams, soaked in cold salty water for 30 minute, then rinsed
12 littleneck clams, soaked in cold salty water for 30 minutes, then rinsed
1 pound smoked chorizo, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 pound steamer clams, purged
1 pound fresh shrimp, head on
12 large oysters, scrubbed
3 lemons, halved

Please note: You will need an extra large pot with a lid. It will hold all of the ingredients, covered.

Combine all the herbs in a bowl and toss to mix. Line the bottom of very large pot with 1/5 of the seaweed. Add the lobsters and top with thin layer of seaweed and some of the mixed herbs and one clove of garlic. Add the cherrystones, littlenecks, and the chorizo, and another layer of seaweed with more of the herbs and one clove of garlic.

Add the oysters, steamers and 3 lemon halves, then a thin layer of seaweed mixed with the rest of the herbs. Finally add the shrimp and mussels. If you have any seaweed, garlic or herbs left over, put it on the top with the remaining 3 lemon halves.

Place the lid on top and place the pot on a stovetop over medium heat. Let cook for 30 minutes, lifting the lid periodically to see if the heat needs adjusting. Once cooked through, carefully transfer to a large serving platter, being sure to discard any mollusks that have not opened. Garnish with seaweed, herbs and lemons and serve with steamed corn.


The Mermaid Mary

2 oz vodka
4 oz. tomato juice
2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. horseradish
¼ tsp. old bay seasoning
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
4 shakes tobasco
Squeeze of fresh lemon and lime

Combine all of the ingredients in a glass rimmed with Old Bay seasoning. Stir with a straw, a skewered shrimp, a piece of celery or a pickle.