LUCY BURDETTE: One of the nice things about living in Key West is that good friends visit us, escaping from the dreariness of winter. We spent Valentine's Day with our friends Jane and Jack Novick, and it was lovely to remember how we all met, and what kind of food we made for each other's wedding receptions!
Of course we did go out one night, but we cooked in too. We wanted something not too fussy, but utterly delicious. I remembered a dish that Jane made for us some years ago, and we adapted it for this occasion. It's delish, but very little trouble! (It would be even better with fresh corn on the cob, but the frozen was not bad...and I promise I will make something besides shrimp next week.)
Ingredients for Key West Boiled Dinner
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 5 tablespoons Creole seasoning (like Tony Chachere's)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 1/2 to 1 pound fingerling potatoes (we used multicolored)
- 1 package sausage of your choice, cut into 2-3 inch lengths
- 1 package frozen corn on the cob
- 1 1/2 pounds large Key West pink shrimp in shell
Bring a gallon of water to boil in a big pot. Squeeze the lemon into this, and drop in the lemon pieces, the garlic, the bay leaves, and the Creole seasoning.
Simmer this together for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the potatoes and rinse the shrimp. Add the potatoes to the water, simmer until almost soft. (About 10 minutes, depending on the size.) Add the sausage and corn, simmer a few minutes. Finally, add the shrimp, simmer until they turn quite pink--another 2-3 minutes.
Dump the whole pot into a colander, drain, and serve on a large platter.
Serve cocktail sauce (2/3 ketchup to 1/3 horseradish) and Dijon mustard on the side, along with a green salad.
Everyone takes as much as they want and peels their own shrimp as they go.
Until you are left with...this!
Hang in there northerners--that horrible winter will pass! And July will come soon too, bringing the sixth Key West food critic mystery, FINAL RESERVATIONS. You can pre-order it here.
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