Shrimp Boil: A Perfect Summer Meal
Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Celebrating the first day of summer with coastal, ocean side, summer flavors. A steaming hot pile of shrimp, corn, and potatoes spread out over a newspaper-covered table, with lots of warm melted butter and chilled drinks. It's a meal that feels like a party to my family. Manners go out the window and you eat everything with your hands, no plates, no forks, pile up on the paper towels and just pure fun. How’s that to celebrate the first day of summer.
Reminiscing about our trip to New Orleans and thinking of
the saltwater marsh and the Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees, the intense savory bites of crawfish we enjoyed straight out of a paper bag at the local park, and the spices and seasonings we picked up at the local market helped create this feast. That's loaded with savory aromatic flavors and colors of sunshine.
A One pot meal, a simple cooking technique, hardly a recipe ( i mean you pretty much dump everything in one big pot), and clean up is a breeze, fold up the newspaper and go take a nap.
I broke down this meal to a few components to ensure that you have a perfect pot of simmering goodness every single time!
1. Pick Your Shellfish:
Lobster, clams, shrimp, crabs, crawfish etc. whatever you pick or any combo of a few, just make sure you cook it properly as each ingredient will cook at a different rate. Start with the one that takes the most time.
2. Build A Broth (you need a large stock pot) or make this in two pots. This simple stock is made of savory flavors of herbs like thyme, bay leaves, and spices like fennel, old bay seasoning, a little heat, and acid from lemons or white wine. By the way you will need more seasoning than you think. Defiantly taste as you go and adjust to your taste.
3. Add the Ingredients in the order below to ensure nothing overcooks and tastes delicious
4. Condiment: don't skimp on the condiments they are simple and so so good, that crusty bread to mop all the juices and fresh squeeze of lemon to brighten up all the flavores.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min
4-5 sausage links about 1.5 pounds sausage I used a fresh chicken Italian sausage but any sausage will do
1 pound small red or gold potatoes
5 ears fresh corn, husks removed and cleaned
2 pounds large shrimp
salt to taste
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls old bay seasoning
1 tsp pink peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1 tsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
One lemon sliced
Few sprigs of thyme (I love lemon thyme if you can find it)
2 onions, quartered
2 garlic bulbs, halved
For serving: French baguette or sour dough, lemon wedges, garlic aioli, melted butter, and Old Bay seasoning
Since I am using fresh sausage. I start with that. Add 2 tbls of oil to a heavy deep pot (if you have a special seafood stock pot feel free to use it but its not necessary)
Sear your sausage links 3 minutes per side until they develop a nice crust
Add all your flavoring (onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, lemons, and spices)
Add enough water to cover the Ingredients about 4+ quarts
Simmer for 15 minutes so the flavorings infuse the water creating a delicious quick stock
Add the potatoes
Add the corn and simmer for additional 10 minutes
Add shrimp, cover, and turn off the heat. Let shrimp sit for 10 minutes to absorb flavor and cook through until it’s no longer pink. The heat of the stock mixture will cook the shrimp through
Drain liquid (I like to reserve a cup of that liquid and serve with the shrimp boil it has so much flavor to dip your shrimp and veggies in it )
Discard bay leaves
spread shrimp boil out on a newspaper-covered table or a large serving platter.
Get your paper towels ready
Serve with bread slices, lemon wedges, melted butter or garlic aioli, and extra Old Bay seasoning. And def ice cold drinks
Tips for making the best shrimp boil:
Start with a stock pot that’s large enough to fit all your ingredients
using good quality shrimp and ingredients
The secret to a perfect shrimp boil is to add the ingredients to the pot in stages so that each one can cook properly. Refer to the direction part of the recipe and cook the ingredients in that order.