Change of seasons in Southern California is determined by the shade of grass and the thickness of sweaters.  In deep January, believe me, we are grateful, but without harsh winters, we just don’t celebrate summer like everyone else. There’s a quiet in our town. Sometimes I miss that authentic neighborhood barbecue atmosphere with kids running through sprinklers, lightening bugs, laughter that hums through screendoors, humidity, and enough water to go around. To me, summer is more a state of mind than a season. We ramped things up the other day with a spicy seafood boil that we borrowed from our coastal friends, where shellfish is a summer staple.

stock pile

It’s hard to resist a one pot meal that screams party.  This festive meal is surprisingly easy to prepare a variety of foods that taste delicious; and clean up is quick.  We’re going to keep this recipe in our back pocket and pull it out anytime we feel off-season.

 

spicy seafood boil

Prepare all foods for the pot while the water is coming to a boil.  Add them in the order of necessary cooking time.  The platter and portion of ingredients and is only limited by your preference and imagination. Consider including the traditional Italian sausage to your concoction. I’ve added average cooking time in parentheses next to ingredients to help coordinate the one pot cook, adjust for size. Also, have your table set before you cook: newspaper lined platter, cups for drawn butter, lemon wedges, hot sauce, seafood forks, food shears, seafood shell cracker.  Once the boil is finished you’ll want to dig in.

preptime:  20 min (includes cook time)         servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lb new potatoes (20 min)
  • 1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, outer casing removed, cut in half horizontally.
  • 4 lobster tails (8-10 min)
  • 1/2 lb green beans (8-10 min)
  • 2 ears of corn, cut into 2-3” pieces (8 min)
  • 10-12 medium large shrimp (4-5 min)
  • melted butter & hot sauce
  1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt, bay leaves, seasoning, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes.
  2. Add potatoes, onion, lemons and garlic. Cook 10 minutes.
  3. Add beans and corn, cook 3 minutes.
  4. Turn water down to simmer, add lobster, cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp, cook 4 more minutes.
  6. Pour melted butter into serving bowls.
  7. Drain all contents into a large colander.
  8. Immediately pour drained ingredients onto a newspaper lined platter or directly onto a prepared outdoor table.
  9. Toss lemon wedges on top & serve.

recipe inspired by Michael Chiarello and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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