By Lee & Lou Havlicek.
Lee & Lou Cook.
As summer comes to a close this week, we find ourselves not only trying to squeeze in a few more go-arounds of our favorite things from Summer 2015, but also trying to top ourselves in their execution. Outdoor meals: definitely top of that list.
It’s true that anything tastes better when eaten outside this time of year—even things that have no particular summer proclivity like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a yogurt—but some meals are made to be eaten in the open air. S’mores, popsicles, extremely messy tacos, hot dogs, stinky cheeses, and the reason we’ve brought you all here today: shrimp boils.
While we like shrimp itself just fine, shrimp boils are another story. Something about a great, big potful of shrimp and potatoes and corn, tossed out on a table and piled high for everyone to share in the backyard is pretty much as satisfying as a summer meal gets. It’s communal, it’s interactive (peeling, passing, scooping), and it’s delicious. Plus, you get to do a lot of totally acceptable—encouraged, even—eating with your hands. Great: sign us up!
Though we’ve yet to dig into a shrimp boil that we didn’t enjoy, making our own version got us to thinking: corn, potatoes, and shrimp, the three staples of a shrimp boil, are also three ingredients that do extremely well with all kinds of flavors. It’s actually pretty hard to think of flavors they don’t take on deliciously. So, rather than going the traditional Old Bay route, we decided to add a few of our favorite things: garlic, olive oil, and lemon. Our version of the culinary Holy Trinity.
There are a ton of things that make this time of year one of our favorites—even in spite our bummed-ness when we notice signs of summer waning. The weather is basically perfect. The late afternoon light is so gorgeous it’s unreal. Beach trips, which we’re still clinging to, involve much smaller crowds. And stone fruits, corn, and tomatoes are all over the place at their most fantastic. We’ve had some of the best corn and tomatoes we’ve had all summer over the last few weeks, and as it happens, one of our favorite ways to eat both of these is together. Corn and tomato pasta, corn and tomato salad, and now: corn and tomato shrimp boil.
Since we don’t have seemingly endless months of shrimp boils immediately ahead of us the way we did in June, we’ve piled this one with lemon and herbs and, yes, corn and tomatoes. We’ve also added spice and heat, and it all goes so wonderfully with the shrimp and potatoes that you might find yourselves ditching the Old Bay for good. This recipe just tastes like summer to us: bright, spicy, juicy, and fresh. If there’s a better way to say goodbye to the season than getting a big group of your favorite people together and cooking up this boil, we haven’t come across it yet.
Oh, except we suppose finishing it all off with an overstuffed, extra melty s’more. Yeah, that’ll do it…
For the rest of the post, the recipe, and oh so much more Lee & Lou click here.