It’s no secret that other Americans envy the 19.3 million people living in the Sunshine State of Florida, and why wouldn’t they? Home to Disney World, seemingly limitless beaches, and an eternally pleasant climate, Florida is as close as you can get to paradise in the contiguous United States.
Of course, there’s one more thing in the panhandle that’s a cause for jealousy: its seafood. Floridians regularly enjoy stone crabs, lobsters, freshwater shrimp, and many other varieties of the finest delicacies the sea has to offer. Generating more than $7.1 billion annually and over 65,000 jobs for the local economy, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, it’s no surprise the Florida seafood industry, whether Florida Keys seafood or that from the coast, is such a big deal for the Sunshine State.
Unfortunately, for the longest time, Florida’s treasures were only available in-state. However, with the rise in availability of seafood online, anyone can enjoy the flavors of Florida. Once you’re done buying seafood online from the tastiest stocks in the U.S., put it to use in this Florida Keys seafood boil. (Note: The recipe has been adapted from Food.com’s SarasotaCook)
- 4 lobster tails
- 5 pounds stone crab claws
- 4 pounds large freshwater shrimp
- 6 pounds clams
- 12 chorizo sausages, cut into quarters
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 2 limes, quartered
- 5 pounds red creamer potatoes
- 6 ears of corn
- 6 Vidalia onions
- 3 bottles of cheap beer (Don’t use the good stuff. It will be a waste.
- 3/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 cup red chili flakes
- 1.5 gallons of water
Putting It Together
- In a large boiler pot, layer the seafood, meat, and vegetables, minus the shrimp, starting with the vegetables and ending with the seafood, ensuring the clams are on top. Mix the Old Bay, chili flakes, and water together before adding them to the pot. Add the beer.
- Set your fire or range to high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Once the liquid has come to a boil, add the quartered citrus to the pot.
- Once you notice the clams have opened their shells, add the shrimp, cooking for only a few minutes until the shrimp are just barely done. Turn off the heat.
- Let your guests come to the pot at will, taking their favorite bits from the vat of wonders.
While there are a lot of ingredients in this Florida Keys seafood boil, don’t take that to mean it’s difficult to make. It is one of the easiest dishes you will ever cook. Serve the boil with your favorite type of spiced butter or cocktail sauce. Use whatever seafood you have to put your own twist on the dish. Whatever you end up doing, don’t throw out the stock you’ve made from your boil. It can be used for chowders, soups, and much, much more. Enjoy your culinary trip to Florida!