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Seafood Boil,
the Chef Tory McPhail way

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Chef Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace at his Lowcountry Seafood Boil on Tybee Island. Photo by Greg Ceo
Before you get started, keep the following things in mind: generally the ratio should be 2:1 seafood to vegetables. When thinking about sides to serve, the side dishes at a seafood boil are the other vegetables that are cooked with the seafood. So be sure to add in ones you prefer.
 

ONE
SET THE TABLE

Cover your (preferably outdoor) table with newspaper.
“Set” it with rolls of paper towels and sauces of your choice.
I always have hot sauce, Creole mayo, and ravigote sauce.

TWO
SEASON THE POT

Bring water to a boil, and season it
very, very well with preferred seafood boil spice.
Add halved lemons and garlic cloves.

THREE
ADD HEARTIER ITEMS

Add crawfish, sausage (if using), onions, new potatoes, sweet potatoes, and whatever other hardy vegetables. Bring water to a simmer for 2 minutes, then cut off heat to soak for 30 minutes.

Note: You’ll have to keep pushing crawfish down into water as they tend to want to float.

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Push crawfish down into the water as they tend to float. Photo by Greg Ceo

FOUR
RELIGHT THE FIRE

After 30 minutes, relight fire, and add remaining ingredients like
lobsters, clams, mussels, corn, and lighter vegetables, and return
to a simmer for 10 more minutes.

At that point, the crawfish should be well seasoned, tender, and cooked through
and vegetables and other seafood should be all evenly cooked.

LAST OF ALL
SERVE IT HOT!

Dump out onto covered table,
grab an ice cold beer, and gather around with friends to enjoy.

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Serve it Hot! Photo by Greg Ceo

“The most important ingredient for a successful seafood boil is enthusiasm. Go on and throw a mix of what you like in the pot, call up friends and family, serve some adult beverages, and have at it. ”

—Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, LA

Mentioned in this post:
Tory McPhail