Take advantage of the summer sun and cook dinner on the grill.
1/4 cup olive oil
9 ounces uncooked vermicelli pasta, broken into 2-in. pieces
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 orange)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
18 littleneck clams, scrubbed (about 14 oz.)
3 (4-oz.) fresh lobster tails, halved lengthwise
1/2 pound cleaned squid (tubes and tentacles), tubes cut into rings
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 lemon wedges
How to Make It
Prepare a wood or charcoal grill. (See "Hearth-fired Hack," below.) Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet on grill over direct heat until oil is just starting to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Add pasta to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. (If it starts to burn, just move your pan to the indirect side. Also, a few burnt tips of pasta are not unwelcome here.) Add stock, puree, vinegar, oregano, orange zest, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to skillet. Bring to a boil over direct heat, and cook 1 minute; add clams. Open vent holes on grill lid, and close grill lid. Grill 3 minutes.
Arrange lobster tails, shell side down, in a single layer in skillet with clams. Close lid, and grill 3 minutes. Add squid; close lid, and grill until squid and lobster are just opaque, clams are open, and liquid is completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. (The pasta will be cooked and starting to dry on the bottom of the skillet.) Top with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.
With any charcoal grill, you can achieve the same smoky results preferred by chefs such as Charleston's Sean Brock. Just follow these steps.
1. Choose your wood. Heavier hardwoods (oak, hickory) work better for spicy dishes and rich meats (beef or pork). For this menu, you'll want something lighter (fruit, nut, alder).
2. Use a 50/50 ratio when combining the charcoal and hardwood.
3. Light wood and charcoal in a chimney starter, and cluster toward one side of the grill.
4. Maintain an internal temperature between 500° and 550° by adjusting the grill vents.
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