Leave the sand at the beach and serve this brimming pot for a fun, casual gathering. Diners can pick out hunks of corn, potatoes, sausages, a clam here and a lobster claw there. Just provide plenty of napkins, a bowl for the discards and a loaf of crusty bread.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small fennel bulb, chopped, any fronds reserved for garnish
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) white wine
3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) chicken broth
1 lb. (500 g) red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 lb. (500 g) kielbasa or other smoked sausage, thickly sliced
1 or 2 lobsters (1 1⁄2 lb./750 g total weight)
2 ears of corn, each cut into 3 pieces
24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
24 clams, scrubbed
12 large shrimp in the shell
1 lemon, cut into wedges
In a large (16- to 20-qt./15- to 18-l) heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chopped fennel bulb and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the fennel is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and then layer the other ingredients on top in this order: the potatoes, the kielbasa and the lobster(s). Cover the pot tightly and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and nestle in the corn, mussels and clams (discarding any that do not close to the touch), and shrimp and cover tightly. Cook for another 10 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels or clams.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes, corn, kielbasa and seafood to a large platter. Season the broth in the stockpot to taste with salt and pepper and spoon it over the top of the seafood. Garnish with fennel fronds and lemon wedges, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more simple one-dish dinners in our cookbook One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan.