Inspired by Chef Sean Brock's Low-County Boil episode during season two of Mind of a Chef, my Precise Kitchen Elf asked for a Valentines' version. The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf pointed out the recipe in Chef Brock's cookbook Heritage and we used it as a jumping off point.
I've included affiliate links at the bottom of this post for the cookbook as well as season two of Mind of a Chef on DVD. We're quite enamored with both.
So, we rallied some friends who also celebrate the day with family - instead of a romantic date night - grabbed some seafood, and hit the beach. It was a beautiful afternoon. While the kids splashed around in the waves and played in the sand, the grown-ups drank beer and wine, chatted, and cooked. It was the perfect celebration of love and friendship.
Ingredients comfortably fed 12 people
- 1 to 1-1/2 gallons water (adjust to fit pot)
- 8 C clam juice
- 2 C spice (we used a mixture of Old Bay and Zatarain's) + more for sprinkling
- 2 pounds potatoes (we used the Teeny Tiny potatoes from Trader Joe's)
- 8 ears of corn, shucked and chopped in half
2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 2" pieces(Boo. I accidently left these in the fridge at home! But I'm sure they would have been fabulous in here.)
- 6 pounds shellfish (we used a mixture of littleneck and cherrystone clams plus mussels)
- 4 pounds head-on shrimp
- 6-8 lemons
- 1 C fresh parsley, chopped
- large table
- portable stove
- lots of handi wipes or paper towels
- largest pot you own or can borrow
- bucket or pot for shells
Place large pot on your portable stove or over the fire. Pour in the water and clam juice. Add in the spice mix, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. It's a lot of liquid, so it will take awhile. Leave it at a low boil for 10 minutes. Add in the potatoes and corn. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be cooked, but not mushy. Add in the shellfish. Cover and boil until the largest ones open; ours took approximately 8 minutes. Add in the shrimp. Cover and boil until they turn pink; ours took approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
Wrangle the food out of the broth onto the newsprinted lined table. This took our men man-handling the pot and involved a colander, a mesh strainer, and a metal spoon!
Once the food is out on the table, squeeze lemon juice over the top.
Call the guests to the table. Pronto al tavolo!
No plates, no utensils. Just a lot of wipes, napkins, smiles, and full bellies.
Clean-up is a breeze. Just roll up the newsprint and toss it in the trash. This is an easy-to-pull together dinner party that we will definitely be doing again soon.