Chiarello has prepared Shrimp Boil for more than 15 years whenever he has large groups to feed and entertain. The recipe is in his new cookbook, "Casual Cooking."
Shrimp Boil is something very easy to do and can really make a dinner party fun. It seems that everything can be thrown into the dish and then it's all dumped back on the table. It sounds messy, but the clean-up is easy and it makes eating fun.
1/4 cup fennel seed
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
6 quarts water
2 lemons, halved
1 head garlic, sliced through the equator but not all the way through
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup sea salt, preferably gray salt
8 small boiling potatoes
2 onions, unpeeled, ends removed
4 medium artichokes (no need to trim)
1 pound jumbo shrimp in the shell
Melted unsalted butter
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
Combine the fennel seed, peppercorns, coriander, pepper flakes and bay leaves. Tie in a cheesecloth bag. Put the bag in a large pot with the water, the lemon halves, the garlic, the wine and the salt. Cover and bring to a simmer then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, onions, and artichokes and simmer gently, covered, until they are tender. As they are done, remove them to a serving platter. The potatoes may take 20 minutes or more; the onions and artichokes will take 30 to 40 minutes.
After you have removed all the vegetables, add the shrimp. Cook just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the serving platter.
Cut the onions in half. Cut the artichokes in half and scoop out — discard the chokes.
Serve the shrimp, potatoes, onions and artichokes with shallow bowls of melted butter, sea salt and Fennel Spice for dipping and with jars of hot sauce.