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Mixed Seafood Grill

Serve this mixed grill over rice and accompany with corn on the cob and a green salad. If you like, include a few soft-shell crabs or lobster tails on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 24 steamer clams, well scrubbed
  • 24 mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. snipped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tsp. Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. firm fish fillets such as weakfish,
      haddock, snapper or pompano, about 1/2 inch
      thick
  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish

Directions:

Place the clams and mussels in separate large bowls and add cold water to cover generously. Stir 1 Tbs. cornstarch into each bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Place the clams and mussels in separate pots of cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the basil and chives. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture over both sides of the fish fillets and place in a shallow nonaluminum dish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove the shrimp and the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Prepare a hot fire for direct-heat cooking in a covered grill. Position the grill rack 4 to 6 inches above the fire.

Preheat an oven to 250°F. Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers. Drain the mussels and clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Place the mussels in a lightly oiled hinged grill basket.

Place the clams around the edges of the rack. Cover the grill, open the vents and cook for 5 minutes. Place the basket holding the mussels on the center of the rack, cover and continue to cook until both the clams and mussels have opened, about 8 minutes more. Transfer to a large, shallow heatproof serving or baking dish, discarding any that did not open, and keep warm in the oven.

Lightly oil the hinged grill basket and place the fish fillets in it. Set on the rack along with the skewered shrimp. Cook, uncovered, turning once, until the fish fillets are opaque throughout and the shrimp have turned pink, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the fish and shrimp to the dish holding the clams and mussels. Garnish with the lemon wedges and parsley and serve.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Backyard Barbecues, by Phillip Stephen Schulz (Time-Life Books, 1999).