Summer Shrimp Boil

I had an epiphany realization yesterday… I am an extremely CLUTTERED person. I know, shocking. It shocks most people because as a person, I have my life in order, like to the point where I think I should be age 50. I am mature, responsible, and over think every action I take, because at age 23, I still fear I am going to be in “trouble”. Lets just put it this way, I am not very spontaneous. (If you happen to catch me doing something spontaneous, take a picture, buy me a shot, and applaud me!)

But… my shit together lifestyle with the mix of my shit is literally everywhere in my room, is not a good combination when I decide to host a dinner party. Not just any dinner party, a shrimp boil. So this crafty host, did what she had to do, and cleaned/stuffed everything in my closet. It is a problem, I just admitted it.. first step?

The dinner was fantastic and the shrimp boil was so fun- a little bit of prep work (mostly because my creative bug wouldn’t stop and I had to decorate my apartment on top of cook for 10 people). A shrimp boil is also known as a crab boil- but due to my lack of funds… a shrimp boil it became.

With the shrimp boil, you cook everything in one ginormous pot: potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp, onions, garlic, lemons, artichokes, and a whole lot of Old Bay spice. You drain all the water, and dump it in the middle of your  table and everyone goes at it- no forks, no plates- just your hands and a lot of paper towels.

I added some asparagus to the boil because I wanted to add some more color. It turned out perfectly. I also… deep fried something for the first time, and my apartment is still standing. I love hushpuppies… like an embarrassingly large amount of love. So much so, that a few weekends ago when I was with a good friend and her husband, I apparently (unknowingly- I swear) ordered myself a double order of hushpuppies… and I ate every. single. one. This was noted because somehow my hushpuppies ended up on Josh’s bill, and then it was public knowledge of my doing- I just couldn’t resist! My hushpuppies were good, not great- I will post that recipe once I perfect it!

I recommend hosting a boil. There were friends of mine that did not all know each other last night, and as it tends to be awkward at first, with a group who all don’t know each other- dumping your dinner in the center of the table, becomes the conversation starter… and last night, both wine and conversation did not end until 11:30. Perfection!

(Drink Table- Paper Source Paper, Cork Board, Mason Jars, Empty Wine Bottles turned into Water jugs, and plenty of wine and summer beer!)

(The Table)

Shrimp Boil:

Adapted from: Old Bay Seasoning

INGREDIENTS (Serves 10)

  • 4 quarts water (16 cups)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer (optional)- I used Miller Lite
  • 1/2 cup OLD BAY® Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 20 small red potatoes
  • 1 large onion cut into wedges
  • 1 artichoke- halved (through the stem- so hotdog style)
  • 4 lemons- halved
  • 3 garlic heads (sliced open- so all garlic cloves are exposed- keeping the black core side intact)
  • 2 pounds lean smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 9 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved
  • 3 pounds unpeeled jumbo shrimp
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring water, beer, OLD BAY Seasoning, salt, lemon halves, artichoke halves, and garlic to boil in 12-quart stockpot on high heat. My pot, being so large, it took about an half hour to finally start to boil.
  2. Add potatoes and onions. Cook 8 minutes.
  3. Add smoked sausage. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn. Cook 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in shrimp. Cook 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
  6. Drain cooking liquid.
  7. Cut the butter in half, and throw in the pot and stir to make sure all ingredients are coated.
  8. Pour contents of pot on paper-covered table (if using a plastic table cloth, I recommend doubling up- for the juice).
  9. **I cooked my asparagus in the microwave (in a bowl with a small amount of water, on high for about 2 minutes)- I bought 2 bushels**
  10. Enjoy!!

Big Thank You to Molly and Kevin for the classy and delicious end to the meal… raspberry gelato. I was so focused on my meal, I did not do a good job taking pictures! It was a perfect end to the night. Thanks all for coming- what a great evening!

(My Roommate, Chelsea and Jonathan- deep into conversation and eating!)

L.E.F.

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