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You next dinner party will be a big hit, especially if you’re serving up savory seafood dishes. Planning a seafood menu for a crowd can seem like a serious task, especially if you’re used to thinking about this feast from the ocean as salmon steaks or shrimp cocktail. Harkening back to the roots of Cajun cooking can make feeding hungry friends and family quickly and easily. Hosting a shrimp boil means easy cleanup and happy diners.

Setting Up

Setting the mood for a shrimp boil is as easy as picking up a copy of the Star Tribune. Put your dining area, such as a large card or picnic table, outside and cover it in newspaper. If it’s going to be a blustery day, use double stick tape on the underside to keep the newspaper in place. If you don’t have an outdoor, propane kettle, you can set up your pot  over a fire pit or on the stove. Either way, be sure that it’s a double boiler, with a colander insert.

Shrimp, Spice, and Everything Nice

Once your water is at a rolling boil, throw in a pre-made bag of seafood seasoning. You can find this at any supermarket in the spice section. For extra flavor, try adding cayenne pepper or your favorite craft beer. Quarter red potatoes and halve ears of corn. Toss them in with the spices and let them absorb those flavors for 30 minutes. In the meantime, mix up a little shrimp sauce, with mayonnaise, ketchup, and hot sauce. It’s simple, but very tasty.

In the last 15 minutes of the cooking time, place in a few pounds of large shrimp and some smoked sausage cut into bite size pieces. Be careful not to add these too early, as both shrimp and sausage become rubbery and tough if they are overcooked. Once everything is cooked, turn the heat down and pull out the colander insert.

Serving

The best part is here! Dump all that goodness out on the newspaper and let everyone help themselves. Place bowls of shrimp sauce with each person and ask that they place all shells on the newspaper. It makes cleanup a breeze. Once the party’s over, just fold up the newspaper with the debris in it and throw it out (or add it to your compost bin).

Your seafood menu doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious, which is why Stella’s Fish Cafe is passionate about serving up fresh, local ingredients prepared just right. Come visit us for a taste of what seafood has to offer.

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