Cooking Shore Dinner

Shore Dinner
A shore dinner is traditionally cooked in a pit that has been dug in the sand near the ocean. The hole is filled with driftwood that is set on fire. After the fire is established, rocks are added to the pit to absorb the heat. Finally, a layer of seaweed is set over the rocks as a bed onto which the various ingredients are added: lobsters, clams, mussels, oysters, potatoes, corn, leeks, and zucchini. Then, another layer of seaweed, and finally, a heavy tarp over the pit to trap the heat and steam.
We've substituted a steamer on the grill here, but kept the seaweed from the classic shore dinner. It adds a special briny savor, but if you can't find it, substitute lettuce leaves or simply omit altogether.

Makes 8 servings
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 thyme sprigs
4 small bay leaves
4 handfuls fresh seaweed
4 lobsters, 1 1/4 lb each
32 littleneck clams, scrubbed
4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into quarters
24 red bliss potatoes, par-cooked
4 ears corn, shucked and halved crosswise
4 leeks, split lengthwise
1 1/2 lb cod fillet, cut into 8 pieces
20 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
8 sea scallops
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges, for garnish
3/4 cup drawn butter
1.Preheat a gas grill to medium heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed. Clean the cooking grate.
2.Melt the unsalted butter in the bottom of the steamer over the grill. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until aromatic. Add the broth, water, thyme, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
3.Make a bed of seaweed on the bottom of the steaming basket. Kill the lobsters by making a small incision in the back of the shell where the chest and tail meet. Place the lobsters on top of the seaweed and top them with the clams, zucchini, and potatoes. Place the basket over the boiling broth. Cover the steamer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
4.While the first tier is cooking, arrange the corn, leeks, cod, mussels, and scallops on the steamer's second tier. Add the second tier to the steamer, cover, and continue to steam for another 5 minutes, or until the clams and mussels are open; the lobsters, cod, and scallops are opaque throughout; and the vegetables are tender.
5.Remove the lobsters from the steamer and split in half. Remove all the other food and arrange it in warmed casseroles or serving bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and moisten with the broth. Serve with the lemon wedges and melted butter.

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