What’s a summer without at least one clam bake or shrimp boil? Upon receiving our latest Food & Wine magazine, their cover image was a tempting looking Shrimp Boil, so we decided there and then to make one. This shrimp boil is a one-pot summer feast for a crowd. However, their recipe served eight (at a minimum) and with only the two of us it made sense to cut it in half.
In it, sweet, plump Gulf shrimp, corn, potatoes, and andouille sausage, come together in a flavorful cooking liquor. It is recommended to use large shrimp in the shell, which helps prevent overcooking and imparts its own flavor to both the shrimp and broth. Add dense ingredients like potatoes and corn first, then sausage, then shrimp. Just before serving, the boil is finished in a garlic spice butter. Yummy!
Like “Barbecue,” “Shrimp Boil” is both a noun and a verb. While all of the flavors are important, the real flavor from a boil comes from a potent cooking liquor. This broth takes it aromatic flavors from alliums, lemon and spices; while a bottle each of white wine and clam juice add heft.
Not having a large enough pot with a fitted strainer, we omitted the strainer altogether, except at the end to drain the food into. Additionally, the amount of liquids were reduced to make sure everything would fit our smaller pot.
For authenticity, you may want to line your eating surface with newspaper or butcher paper and serve the shrimp, corn and potatoes splayed out on the table. Of course, a more formal/civilized approach is to serve from a platter. Whatever style you choose, make sure to have plenty of paper towels handy because the food is meant to be eaten with your hands.
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning, plus more for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
5 Tbsp. plus 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt, divided
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), to taste
11 qts. water
1 750-milliliter bottle dry unoaked white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
1 8-oz. bottle clam juice (such as Bar Harbor)
1 large yellow onion, quartered lengthwise, root intact
2 garlic heads, halved crosswise
8 dried bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
2 lbs. small yellow, red, or gold potatoes
8 8-oz. shucked ears fresh corn, halved crosswise
3 lbs. fresh or smoked sausages, preferably andouille
4 lbs. unpeeled raw large wild shrimp
Dipping Sauce, optional, for serving (See Step 5 for making your own.)
Whole-grain mustard, for serving
Grate zest from 1 lemon to measure 2 teaspoons. Set grated zest aside. Cut zested lemon and remaining lemon into quarters; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low. Stir in Cajun seasoning, minced garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, hot sauce to taste, and reserved lemon zest. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Place a 24-quart pot on an outdoor propane burner. Add 11 quarts water, wine, clam juice, onion, garlic heads, bay leaves, thyme, quartered lemons, and remaining 5 tablespoons salt to pot; cover and bring to a boil over high flame. Stir in crab boil packets; cover and cook 10 minutes. Place a fitted strainer inside pot.
Add potatoes to strainer in pot; cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in corn and sausages; cover and cook until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of sausage registers 155°F (or until heated through if using smoked sausages), about 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, uncovered, until shrimp are pink, opaque, and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
Lift strainer from pot, letting liquid strain back into pot, and transfer shrimp boil mixture (potatoes, corn, sausage, and shrimp) to a large heatproof bowl; discard onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, lemons, crab boil packets, and strained liquid inside pot. Add reserved butter mixture to shrimp boil mixture; toss to coat. (If you don’t have a large enough bowl, you can do this step in batches, tossing half of the shrimp boil with half of the butter mixture at a time.) Arrange coated shrimp boil on a platter or a covered table. Season with additional Cajun seasoning or Old Bay. Serve with cocktail sauce and mustard, if desired.
To make the dipping sauce: Stir together 1 8-ounce jar cocktail sauce, 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce in a small bowl. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 5 days. Grate fresh horseradish on top for serving, if you like.
As corn season ends, we ramp our efforts to utilize those tasty kernels in as many ways as possible. Chowder is a fabulous fallback especially as the summer temps start to wane and crisp, cool nights creep in. This riff from Fine Cooking incorporates a poblano chili, with ours yielding a full cup, once chopped down.
When it comes to the broth, we used homemade chicken stock, which adds oodles of flavor by itself. If you don’t have any homemade on hand, jarred Better Than Bouillon is a decent brand for either chicken or vegetable broth.
While you could make this spicy take on corn chowder with frozen corn, it’s best with fresh. And since we prefer a kick, I added a healthy pinch of cayenne along with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon at the end.
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 poblano, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium rib celery, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 medium red potato (about 8 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Cayenne, to taste
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the broth and milk. Add the potatoes and corn, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.
Using a potato masher, slightly mash the vegetables in the pot to thicken the chowder to your desired consistency.
Add the lemon juice, and season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
You’ll enjoy this unusual stir-fry combination utilizing fresh corn kernels cut from the cob. The corn, along with rice, does lean toward a carb-heavy meal, but it is so satisfying and full of flavor. Coating the chicken pieces in cornstarch thickens the sauce at the end so that it clings to the meat and veggies.
Rarely overpowering, oyster sauce is packed with umami and adds tons of depth to stir-fries like this one, boosting flavor in marinades, and just being all-around incredibly delicious. No ripe corn at the market? Bon Appétit suggests to swap in peppers, peas, mushrooms, or summer squash.
As with any stir-fry, make sure to chop and prep all of the ingredients ahead of time because once you start cooking, the process goes incredibly fast and you need to keep swinging that metal spatula around.
½ tsp. (or more) Aleppo-style pepper or other mild chile flakes
3 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs
Steamed rice and cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)
Stir together oyster sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place chicken in a medium bowl. Season with salt and sprinkle with cornstarch; toss lightly to coat.
Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large well-seasoned wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and nearly cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
To the wok, add red onion, garlic, ginger, Aleppo-style pepper, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Cook, tossing, until vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes.
Add corn and cook, tossing often, until tender, about 3 minutes.
Return chicken to wok with vegetables.
Stir in reserved oyster sauce mixture and cook, tossing often, until reduced nearly to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.