Prudhommes' techniques for a seafood boil
I saw him on PBS a couple weeks ago and he had a very interesting way to do a seafood boil. I didn't write it down, so if anyone has any corrections, I would appreciate them.
First he put sugar (?), salt and pepper in the water and brought it to a boil.
Then he added onions, just cut in half, skins on, and a bunch of garlic cloves, skins on, and some seasonings. He let that boil for about 15 minutes (I think.)
Next he put in whole cobs of corn, cut in half, some red potatoes, and some sausage. Oh, and more seasoning. He let that boil for awhile, maybe up to 30 minutes.
The last thing he added was the shrimp, and that only cooked for a few minutes.
He preaches about layering the seasonings to give each dish more complexity. It's almost time for crawfish and I want to have a boil, so if anyone else can add to this I sure would appreciate it.
I like to add crawfish boil bags and a bottle of La. hotsauce. Also, I have some ice handy. After the shrimp or crawfish are done I throw in enough ice to stop the cooking process adn let the shell fish soak up more of the spices.
And, believe it or not, califlower is good boiled in this water as well- it really soaks up the flavor.
The longer you let sturdier stuff like potatoes and corn stay in the cooling broth, the more spices they soak up. It's also good to reserve some lemons both for garnish and hand cleaning.
I like to pull some of the broth and stick it in the fridge, then poach the shrimp on top of the boiling broth in a separate colander. That way, I can keep the shrimp from overcooking, but still rest them in the cooled spicy broth to soak up flavors while the longer-cooking stuff gets done.