Fish BoilThe Summer Indulgence: A Seafood Boil
Effortless entertaining calls for a seafood boil, where minimal preparation yields the maximum wow factor by relying on fresh-off-the-boat fish, sweet corn and, optimally, potatoes dug out of the ground that day. As for clean-up, it’s a breeze since all ingredients go in a sturdy lobster pot.
Seafood boils are made for a crowd. The ritual of eating the seafood boil creates a communal, interactive dinner. If your house is like ours, it’s generally a feeding frenzy as we all vie for the perfect sampling of shrimp, clams, monkfish and clams. Of course, we don’t judge if you choose to generously dunk your seafood into butter warmers arranged across table. Sweet grilled piña coladas follow, so warn your guests to leave room for dessert.
Yield 6–8 servings
Fill a very large stockpot (at least 24 quarts), with 10 quarts water and 2 cups white wine. Cover with the lid, and on high heat, bring water to a rolling boil. Add salt, bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, lemons and onions. Cover again with the lid and let boil for 10 minutes so water is infused with spices.
Add potatoes and sausage, and cook for 10 minutes. Add corn and cook another 5 minutes. Potatoes are done when they are easily pierced with a knife. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a serving platter.
Add clams and shrimp (and optional monkfish) and cover with the lid and cook 8–10 minutes. The shrimp are done when they have turned pink and start to curl and clams have opened. The monkfish will turn white and be firm to the touch when cooked.
Use a spider or large slotted spoon to remove shrimp, clams and place on large serving platter. Transfer corn, potatoes and sausage to another serving platter.
Serve seafood boil with melted butter mixed with Frank’s red-hot sauce and extra lemon wedges. Don’t forget ice-cold beers or crisp white wine.
Pineapples caramelize on the grill. Add coconut sorbet or ice cream, top with dark rum and toasted coconut and you'll produce a dessert that rivals the seafood boil.
Yield 6–8 servings.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Brush grates with canola oil. Place pineapple slices on grill. After 3 minutes, give pineapples slices a quarter turn for crosshatch marks. After 3 minutes, flip pineapple slices and repeat for perfect crosshatch grill marks. Transfer to cutting board; let cool. Cut into bite-size pieces.
Add 3 or 4 spoonfuls of gilled pineapple to a single serving bowl, and add a scoop or 2 of coconut sorbet. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of dark rum. Eat quickly before the sorbet melts, and don’t be surprised if your guests ask for seconds.