When I was a kid my family and I took a few trips to Lake Shasta and stayed on a houseboat with my aunt and uncle and other extended family members. We saw bears, tons of deer, caught some fish, and inadvertently went rafting (in a houseboat...) I was just young enough to not really remember those trips now, but I do have memories from the photographs I've seen, not to mention the trauma from the rafting incident. Just teasing, Uncle Gary!
The first time I had this meal was on one of those house boat trips. I don't remember the first meal because I was too young, but my family has had this hundreds of times since then. It's a really fun meal, especially for a group. But this isn't a fine dining sort of meal... it involves newspapers and piles of shrimp shells.
1 Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil in Bag
6 ears of corn
12 red potatoes
1 large bag of fresh or frozen, shell on, raw shrimp
8 spicy sausage links (like chicken andouille)
6-12 sourdough rolls, depending on your carb neediness
condiments: ketchup, horseradish, a selection of mustards and hot sauces, salt, pepper, butter
Add crab boil bag to the most giant pot you have (like industrial size huge) and fill 5" below rim with water.
You might call it a cauldron.
Prep corn by breaking into halves, or thirds, depending on your forearm strength.
Wash and scrub potatoes. Dry, pierce with a fork, and pre-cook in microwave on a plate for 12 minutes, or until cooked evenly.
Get your other ingredients ready. Rinse off shrimp (nobody likes frozen shrimp ice sauce).
And cut sausages into halves.
Water should be boiling away at this point!
Add in sausage and cook 2-3 minutes, or until just starting to plump up.
Add corn. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until a little brighter yellow.
Add shrimp. Cook about 5 minutes, or until they float and are red and opaque.
Prep your table! This is the fun part. The first layer (which you can't see) is a cut open trash bag. This protects the table from juices. Then put a few layers of newspaper, making sure you use the newspaper for placemats. Then finally, a layer of paper towels. You could use dish towels too. We make a ring of potatoes. It's kinda blair witchy.
Drain the boil!
And dump that shit on the table!
Now go be a pig and eat with your hands. Yum!