Saturday, March 27, 2010

Michael Chiarello Shrimp Boil Recipe

Michael's Shrimp Boil
NapaStyle : Episode FLNST-104

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A seafood boil has been a Fourth of July tradition for host Michael Chiarello for the last 15 years. It is a crowd pleaser, and it is as easy to do for 20 as for two. Spread butcher paper on the tables, put a variety of hot sauces out (Michael's favorite is Crystal brand), plus bowls of melted butter, sea salt, and Fennel Spice. When the shrimp and vegetables are ready, dump them directly onto the table. And when everyone has finished, roll up the butcher paper and dive into the pool to rinse off.

Serves 4
1/4 cup fennel seed
2 Tbs. black peppercorns
2 Tbs. coriander seed
1 Tbs. red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
6 quarts water
2 lemons, halved
1 head garlic, sliced through the equator but not all the way through
1 cup dry white wine
1/2-cup sea salt, preferably gray salt
8 small boiling potatoes
2 onions, unpeeled, ends removed
4 medium artichokes (no need to trim)
1 lb. jumbo shrimp in the shell
melted unsalted butter
sea salt, preferably Gray salt
fennel spice
hot-pepper sauce
  1. Combine the fennel seed, peppercorns, coriander, pepper flakes, and bay leaves and tie in a cheesecloth bag.
  2. Put the bag in a large pot with the water, the lemon halves, the garlic, the wine, and the salt. Cover and bring to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions, and artichokes and simmer gently, covered, until they are tender.
  4. As they are done, remove them to a serving platter. The potatoes may take 20 minutes or more; the onions and artichokes will take 30-40 minutes.
  5. After you have removed all the vegetables, add the shrimp. Cook just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the serving platter.
  6. Cut the onions in half. Cut the artichokes in half and scoop out and discard the chokes.
  7. Serve the shrimp, potatoes, onions, and artichokes with shallow bowls of melted butter, sea salt, and Fennel Spice for dipping, and with jars of hot sauce.