Spicy Shrimp Boil With Lemon Butter
In this very spicy, very messy shrimp feast, diners peel their own shrimp, then dunk them in hot sauce-spiked shrimp broth, a bowl of melted lemon butter or both. Many shrimp boils call for adding corn, sausage and potatoes to the pot. This one focuses solely on the shrimp, though feel free to add the other ingredients if you’d like to bulk it up. Crusty bread for serving is a must, both to sop with the last bits of broth and butter, and as a palate-soother, for when the building heat of the cayenne and hot sauce starts to burn.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1large onion, halved
- 1head garlic, sliced in half crosswise to expose the cloves
- ¼cup Old Bay seasoning
- 1tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon cayenne
- 6tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
- 1lemon, halved
- 1tablespoon minced shallot (optional)
- 1tablespoon Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce, plus more as needed
- 2pounds large shell-on shrimp
- Crusty bread, for serving
Step 1Bring 6 cups water with the onion, garlic, Old Bay, peppercorns, salt and cayenne to a boil in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Step 2Meanwhile in a small pot, melt the butter. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the pot. Stir in shallot, if using, and season butter to taste with hot sauce and salt. Set aside for serving.
Step 3Squeeze juice from the other half the lemon into the large pot, then toss in squeezed lemon half. Stir in 1 tablespoon hot sauce and shrimp. Bring just to a simmer (not a boil), then lower the heat so the mixture continues to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until shrimp are bright pink and cooked through.
Step 4Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer shrimp to a large serving bowl or platter. Taste shrimp broth and add more salt and hot sauce if necessary.
Step 5Strain shrimp broth into serving bowls. Divide melted butter into small bowls, one per guest.
Step 6To serve, give each guest a bowl of spicy shrimp broth and a small bowl filled with seasoned butter for dipping. Guests should peel shrimp and dunk in broth, butter or both. Serve with bread on the side and plenty of napkins, and a bowl for the shrimp shells.