Party foods that let everyone dig into the same pot embrace the spirit of a get-together - plus one-dish meals make planning super easy.
We should all really be embracing these last few precious days of summertime, and what better way to do so than throwing a big ol' shrimp boil for your friends? It's both amazingly delish and a great way to get everyone together for some bonding before temps begin to dip.
What you'll need
Obviously, you're gonna want to stock up on shrimp, roughly 10 pounds, to be exact. For this dish, you should use the whole guys - with little heads attached and all - because the shells and other innards are what help give shrimp boils their unique flavor. Other ingredients to put on your shopping list: six lemons, four heads of garlic, 6 ounces of Old Bay seasoning, one-half cup of cayenne, two big onions, 12 red skin potatoes, six ears of corn, 2 pounds of andouille sausage and whatever herbs strike your fancy.
You're also going to need a huge pot for this - as in, four gallons or so. Additionally, stock up on paper towels and newspaper to cover your table with, because things are going to get messy.
This will serve 10 to 15 people, depending on how hungry everyone is. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or in quarters to make it more suitable for smaller get-togehters.
Boil them shrimp
First, you should clean all of your shrimp and make sure none of them look like they'll ruin the whole party (telltale signs include bad smells, discoloration and bruised areas). Once your shrimp are good to go, corn is shucked, lemons and garlic are cut in half and all veggies are washed, dump everything but the shrimp, corn and sausage into the pot and cover with water - perhaps even a bottle or two of beer, if that sounds tempting.
Bring your pot to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the corn and sausage. Wait another 15 minutes before dumping in your shrimp. Once the seafood is in there, it only needs to boil for about five more minutes.
Now, just drain out as much liquid as you can - you can save it for stock and freeze for later - and plop the whole thing on a newspaper-lined table so everyone can dig in. You can surely get fancy and put this in a pretty serving dish, but serving straight from the pot is rustic in a way that's actually well-suited for this kind of party.
To make it even better
We know this sounds awesome enough already, but serving your shrimp boil along with Foccacia with Grilled Garlic
or even some Cheesy Grits
is the perfect way to complement your seafood dish. Oh, and don't forget to stock up on some awesome brews as wel!