Another use for your Turkey Fryer
Call this the New England version of a Southern Shrimp Boil. This recipe feeds a crowd or at least eight people just off one of those low protein, green shakes only or however many points you get a day diet. You’ll want a few crusty breads and cases of chilled beer with this meal – my kind of diet.
We cook this Seafood Boil on the front lawn in our turkey fryer. It works just as well indoors. Have some big pots on hand.
Note: We follow-up the “seafood” part by cooking lobsters separately in the juices. But that’s us. Add or subtract your seafood of choice.
2 12 oz. bottles of beer (Lager or Dark but use what you like, or won’t drink!)
2 1.5 oz. seafood boil seasoning packs**
2 Tablespoons sea salt
1 Tablespoon white pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper (I like a bit of heat; some of my gang, not so much)
6 Bay leaves
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 lemons, quartered
4 large onions, quartered
4 large garlic bulbs, halved
3 pounds small red potatoes
8 ears fresh corn, husks removed, cut into halves or thirds (I always have more corn on hand)
2 pounds of smoked sausage, cut in 1 inch pieces (I use Andouille. Polish, Linguicia or Chorizo adds great flavor too)
2 pounds large shrimp, in shell
5 pounds of little neck clams
5 pounds of steamer clams
5 pounds of muscles
I’ve made the liquid base right in the turkey fryer outside but have found that making it on the stove top a few hours ahead gives everything a richer flavor.
Brown sausage choice in a large stock pot. Remove and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pot. Add garlic bulbs and onions; let cook until slightly browned. Add in about 4 quarts of water, lemons, beer, seasoning packs, Bay leaves, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; use right away or cover for up to 8 hours.
Note: Even using the turkey fryer, we make this in two batches (there’s just no room for all our shell-y friends!) It took us a few tries to get our timing right. Depending on your cooking method and the size of your pots your timing may vary. Just keep watch over the pot and you’ll be fine.
Put one-half of the liquid base in the turkey fryer or large stock pot (if cooking on the stove you may need to do this in four batches, or two batches at a time). Get the liquid to boil again. Add one-half of the potatoes and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add one-half of the corn and one-half of the sausage; cook for about 8 minutes. Add one-half of the little necks, steamers and muscles. Then add shrimp on top, cover the pot. Cook until clams open and shrimp is pink; about 10-12 minutes.
Transfer to large platters with slotted spoon. Serve with bowls of broth, melted butter and fresh lemons. We also have hearty bread and lots of cold beer!
Repeat with the other one-half ingredients. Add more water to the pot, if necessary, and let it come to a boil before proceeding.
After we’ve completed batch #2, we steam lobsters in the same broth (leave a few cupfuls in the fryer pot).
**Seafood seasoning packs can be found in the fish section of most supermarkets. I make my own blend using 4 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, 1 Tablespoon sea salt, 1 Tablespoon black pepper, 2 Tablespoons onion powder, 2 Tablespoons garlic powder, 4 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning. More or less.
Note: This recipe can be cut in half.