Food network

“It’s about as easy as it gets”


  • Ina Garten “has finally gotten smart” after years of doing beach clambakes for her store Barefoot Contessa.
  • She prefers to make cooking clambakes for an easier all-around experience.
  • The cookbook author learned other tricks while running his Barefoot Contessa store.

Ina Garden | 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards via Getty Images

Ina Garten’s clambakes don’t happen at the beach. In true Barefoot Contessa style, much like removing the corn on the cob or cutting the cauliflower, she found an easier way to do things. Instead of cooking at the beach, she prefers cooking clambakes.

Ina Garten ‘got smart’ after years of beach clambakes

Sharing her kitchen clambake recipe in the 1999s The Barefoot Contessa CookbookGarten explained why she prefers not to do them at the beach.

“For years at Barefoot Contessa, we’ve been doing this beach clambake,” she began. “Not only did we have to dig a pit to cook, but we had to deal with all that wind and sand and darkness.”

Garten went on to say that she “finally got smart and decided to clambake in the kitchen.” Not only is it “made in a huge pot,” she explained, but there’s “no sand.”

Garten, who has another Barefoot Contessa cookbook on the way, explained why she loves cooking clambakes on her Food Network show. It’s an entire meal in one pot, she doesn’t have to haul it all to and from the beach, and of course there’s no sand in the food.

Ina Garten’s kitchen clambake is ready in 1 hour

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Garten’s kitchen clambake makes classic summer barbecue so much a “Is it easy?” time as possible. She doesn’t have to haul pots, pans, and all the ingredients to the beach to end up with sand in the food.

Instead, she sautéed the kielbasa with onions and leeks in a pot (she suggests 16-20 liters) before adding the rest of the ingredients. “That’s about as simple as it gets, isn’t it?” she said, loading everything into the pot.

According Food Network, she advises putting the potatoes in first with a little salt and pepper. Then the kielbasa, the neck clams, the steamed clams, the mussels, the prawns and the lobster, before accompanying it with white wine.

Garten leaves it on the stove, covered, to cook for 15 minutes over medium-high heat. She lowers it to low for another 15 minutes when steam comes out of the top. At this point, the cooking of Garten’s kitchen is complete.

All he has to do is check that the potatoes are tender, the lobsters are cooked and the clams and mussels are open. From there, she cuts the lobster and transfers the rest of the seafood to a bowl with potatoes and sausage. Next, Garten seasons the remaining broth in the pot to taste. Finally, she pours ladles of broth on top before serving.

Overall, Garten’s Kitchen Clambake takes about 60 minutes to make from start to finish. Half of the time is devoted to preparation and the other half to cooking.

Garten learned other tips and tricks while running Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa no longer has her grocery store in the Hamptons. However, the lessons she learned from running Barefoot Contessa for decades are clear in her entertaining recipes and tips.

Not only did she learn that it’s better to bake cakes at home than on the beach, but she also learned the importance of preparing simple meals.

“If we spent all day making roast leg of lamb with rosemary, we wouldn’t have anything to sell! So I taught myself to use good, fresh ingredients and prepare them as simply as possible by cooking only to enhance their intrinsic flavors,” she once wrote in a Martha Stewart column.

In addition, she learned the value of meals prepared in advance. Garten even wrote an entire cookbook devoted to foods that can be made ahead.

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