This week we are focusing on a classic boil. Boils can traditionally be prepared with numerous kinds of shellfish, whether saltwater or freshwater. I chose to use shrimp today as they are readily available and always a crowd-pleaser.
The trick to making the perfect boil is adding the ingredients in the correct order and cooking them for the right amount of time. Believe me, nobody wants mushy potatoes and overcooked shrimp.
Seafood boils are like a barbecue or potluck in a sense and are held to bring together loved ones over good food and company. Although the portions we are making are for four people, it can easily be doubled for a larger group.
The classic way to serve a boil is laid out directly on top of newspaper in the center of a table, so grab yourself some butter, hot sauce and a copy of The Spokesman-Review and try this recipe.
3 quarts of water
12 ounces white wine
¼ cup seafood spice blend such as Old Bay, Zatarain’s or blackened fish seasoning (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for garnish
4 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 ½ pounds baby potatoes (I used tri-color potatoes, which are available at the grocery store)
1 pound smoked sausage such as andouille, kielbasa or linguica, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 ears of fresh corn, shucked, cleaned and cut into quarters
1 pound jumbo unpeeled shrimp
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Serving options: Additional seafood seasoning, fresh lemon wedges, hot sauce, melted butter or cocktail sauce
In a large pot, combine the water, wine, spice blend, salt, garlic, bay leaves and lemons. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and return to boil and cook for 8 minutes.
Add the sausage and corn, then return the mixture to a boil for another 8 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, until shrimp are pink and firm.
Drain the mixture. Garnish with parsley and a sprinkling of finishing salt or a bit more kosher salt and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Seafood Spice Blend
To make ¼ cup blackened fish seasoning, combine:
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ginger
Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.
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