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Dying to host :: A Seafood Boil

March 29th, 2012

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If there’s such a thing as a perfectly-styled summertime party… this would be it, in my book. Photographed by Nancy Neil and originally spotted on Once Wed, this seafood boil is the epitome of summertime cool, brimming with colorful seasonal produce, pitchers of sangria and some of the hippest party guests ever. Oh, and there was a record swap, too. I would love to host a seafood boil this summer, but have to admit I’m a little intimidated by the whole cooking crustaceans thing… especially in mass quantities. Have any of you thrown a lobster or crawfish boil? Was it a success, and did you come away with any lessons learned? Would love to hear, and keep reading for lots more of my favorite images from this fête!

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*images: Nancy Neil 

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18 Comments under :: Dying to host :: A Seafood Boil
  1. Danielle says:

    This is my dream party!! I remember referring to this while planning my wedding last year.

  2. Rebecca says:

    This all looks so delicious! Thinking of doing mussels and clams this weekend. . .

  3. Kimberly says:

    This looks like so much fun!

  4. Kirbi says:

    I totally agree! It’s seriously one of the funnest poolside parties you can host. Especially here in Texas so close to Louisiana, a crawfish boil is such a hit. We try to do one once a year….it’s really not all that scary to do shrimp or crawfish in huge quantities. If you just rent the really big boiling pots that have propane tanks on them and have a couple of large chests or coolers on hand for keeping batches warm while others are preparing, its easy. I love the idea of everyone having their own big basket or box to load up with and family style side dishes down long picnic tables by the pool. You really can’t go wrong with some kind of spicy cajun seasoning, corn, and potatoes. And wash it down with a tasty beverage of course! YUM! Oh ya, and invite me!! :)

    Kirbi

    • Camille Styles says:

      Okay, I think you’ve totally convinced me Kirbi! That sounds like the best day ever, and totally unintimidating… :)

  5. Marie says:

    Looks like such a fun day! :)

  6. oh gosh I would love this! I would prefer cold brews though!

  7. delia says:

    I love seafood! It would make a great alternative to a bbq.

    delia
    http://www.lovelaughlipglosses.com/

  8. Nickolena says:

    i wished i lived on the coast because seafood in the midwest cost a fortune. sad

  9. Freya says:

    This is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking forward to this summer!

  10. These images well tell a fabulous story.
    In Australia we eats lots of shellfish. We have an abundance.
    I’ll give you a really quick and simple way to cook BLUE SWIMMER CRAB.
    1. Take back shell off crab and the the rest of the crab under running water.
    2. Boil a pot of water, put a bamboo steamer over with crab inside. Steam for 5 minutes then pour a bottle of beer over and steam a further 10 minutes.
    3. While that is happening, chop 8 cloves of garlic and put in a WOK with oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and pinch of chili and shallots.
    4. Throw crab in WOK with the sauce and tune for a couple of minutes.
    Serve. You will definitely needs a bib to eat these.

  11. Lily Vega says:

    Hi camille. First I want to tell you I love your blog! One question: which program you edit your photos? I love to see your blog every day and see that the photos look so beautiful … I hope to answer, thanks! (my english is so bad, sorry)

    • Camille Styles says:

      Thanks so much Lily! I use Aperture for post-editing of photos…and I lay everything out in Photoshop. So thrilled you’re enjoying! xo

  12. Yesenia says:

    Wow what an amazing event! I would be really intimidated to throw a fiesta like this, but would definitely enjoy going to one! I love your blog Camille, you always find the best events and recipes to post. Keep up the great work!

    ~ Yesenia

  13. It all looks delish! Love the lemonade mason jar :)

  14. Ashley says:

    Hey Camille! I’m from Southern Louisiana and have been attending crawfish boils since I can remember (they seriously have baby picture of my holding giant crawfish). Every year we travel down to Bayou Pigeon (right next to Pierre Part where they film parts of the show Swamp People) and feast with friends and family on the harvest of crawfish from just over the levee in the spillway.

    Some tips for a successful boil based on my lifetime of experience:

    1. Don’t be afraid of mass quantities. There’s not a lot of food in there. Most of it is just shell and head which won’t be eaten (though to get all the flavor you should suck on the head to get the juice out). Basically go for roughly 1 or 2 pounds of crawfish per person. That makes about enough that everyone is full and happy.

    2. SPICE. Don’t just boil and dip in butter. It’s not lobster. Look for bottles of crab boil liquid and spice mixes like Tony Chachere’s (said sah-sha-ree). Also throw in corn on the cob, button mushrooms, lemon halves, oranges, garlic cloves, artichokes, red potatoes and just about anything else you want including other meats like sausage.

    3. Be prepared for mess. You will need TONS of napkins of paper towels. Those little mud-bugs are full of juice and it will get everywhere! Also advise your guests to wear things they’re not afraid to get dirty and possibly ruin. A white shirt will be done for and no bib will save you.

    4. Traditional drink choices for crawfish boils are: mass quantities of sweet tea, beer, dry white wine and milk (the milk is mostly for people who think it’s too spicy, it’s also good to have french bread or baguettes on hand for the same purpose).

    5. If you’re going the traditional Louisiana boil route there will be no need for plates or silverware. Get yourself a long table, cover it in newspaper and dump the crawfish carefully onto the table (try not to lose too many off the edge). Then set some trash cans around the table. Everyone gather around the table, pulling what they want one bug at a time and then throwing the peel away as they strip it. You stand around peeling and talking and having a grand time. (picture from another blog I read from time to time http://pumpkinmonkey.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/crawfish4.jpg )

    6. Enjoy. It’s not so much about the amazing food (it is SO yummy) as it is about the gathering and having a great time.

    I can’t wait to see pictures if you decide to host a boil. I’m sure your unique style will show through in this (what I consider) most basic and home-made of gatherings. If you need a recipe for a spice blend just let me know.

  15. riko says:

    Beautiful! I am doing one for my sister’s birthday next month. I am wondering though, what kind of butter sauce was that in the close up of the food? It looks like it has tomato sauce in it.

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