A seafood boil is all about abundance, lots of libations, and eating with your hands. You can serve this with fresh lemon wedges, sea salt, hot sauce, drawn butter, etc.
6 quarts water
2 lemons, halved
6 garlic cloves
1 cup bourbon
½ cup sea salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
6 ears corn, shucked and cut into 1-inch-thick wheels
1 pound pork sausages
1 pound jumbo shrimp in the shell, head on if you can find them
4 whole blue crabs
8 ounces littleneck clams, scrubbed
8 ounces mussels, scrubbed and debearded if necessary
<p class=”ingredientsub”>for the spice bag:</p>
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1. To make the spice bag: Wrap all the spices in a coffee filter or a piece of cheesecloth and tie tightly with kitchen twine.
2. Bring the water to a boil in the largest pot you have, at least a 10-gallon pot. Add the spice bag, lemon halves, garlic, bourbon, salt, and paprika, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and corn and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sausages, shrimp, crabs, clams, and mussels, bring to a boil, and boil until the sausages are cooked, the clams and mussels have opened (discard any unopened ones), and the potatoes and corn are tender, another 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Lift out the vegetables, sausages, and seafood and dump onto a table covered with layers of newspaper.
The appetizer combo for lunch the day we cooked at The River Café was Artichokes alla Romana served with greens, fresh mozzarella and bruschetta. The Artichokes were boiled with fresh flavorful herbs and garlic, then baked until they were crispy.
This dish is all about ease and taste. Head to your local antipasti bar (Whole Foods has a consistently good one) and pick out whatever 3-4 items are looking good to you. We use snapper in this dish, but feel free to use whatever white, mild fish looks freshest...