Originally posted by Sundancer7
I have never had a fish boil and it sounds really good...
Paul, here's some thoughts on this to try and explain it a little better.
What I and some of the others are describing would more properly be named a "shrimp boil" or something like that. I think it's somewhat different than Mr. Hoffman's "fish boil". I've never paricipated in one of those, though it sounds great.
As for the stock, you're not trying to end up with a "soup". The liquid is merely for boiling the "edibles" and imparting some flavor. The liquid will be discarded, and the cooked pieces of food will be served in bowls or on a "newspaper-topped table". (Yes, the food is scooped out directly on the newspapers, and everyone digs in with their hands.
I usually don't add vinegar, but I was making reference to RubyRose's suggestion. The vinegar would just add a little "zip", and it is supposed to counter some of the "fishy" taste. (I've always contended, though, that FRESH fish is not "fishy". That strong odor and taste means that your fish ain't fresh!)
Here's how I do it. As usual, I don't have a "recipe", so I'll be guessing at some quantities.
I start with about half a pot of water. Bring to a boil and add your spices (refer to suggestions above) and a few lemons halved or quartered. The big bottle of Tabasco really doesn't add near as much heat as you would think, but do whatever sounds good to you.
These are approximate "per person" quantities
. I usually just buy whatever feels right:
About 1 pound of shrimp
1/2 pound of smoked sausage, cut in 2" chunks
1 ear of corn, quartered
4 new potatoes
Add the potatoes to the boiling water, bring back to boil and cook for 10 minutes or so. Add corn and sausage, return to boil and cook for 10 minutes or so more. Add shrimp and cook just until it turns nice and pink, maybe 3 minutes.
Using a slotted scoop or stainer, scoop out the food onto the newspaper (or into serving bowls). Sprinkle some cajun seasoning or Old Bay over the whole mess, then hand out paper plates and napkins! SOOOEY everyone to the trough.