Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shrimp Boil Party Ideas

Provide plenty of napkins at your party.

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Shrimp boils are a popular summertime party staple in the South. They're called low country boils along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, but whether you follow that tradition or spice things up with Louisiana flair, it's a simple matter to hold a boil no matter where you live. A basic shrimp boil consists of potatoes, corn, smoked sausage and shrimp boiled together in one pot with seasonings. It's the perfect food for a casual backyard party and doesn't require a lot of equipment or fancy decorations.

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The star of your party will be the shrimp boil, but a few additions add interest and variety. Accompany your boil with rustic baguettes in baskets with herbed butter or platters of garlic bread. If you hold your party outside, kick up the color on your table and the health of your meal with grilled vegetable kabobs, while keeping to the theme of finger food. Include plenty of appropriate condiments for the boil, including hot sauce, lemon slices, mustard, cocktail sauce, butter and malt vinegar.

Serving

A shrimp boil generally means very few dishes for the host to wash because the food is served directly on the table. When the food is done cooking, scatter it along the length of a picnic table interspersed with condiments and side dishes for your guests to enjoy a hands-on meal. Newspaper is commonly used to protect the table, but white butcher paper is a little more festive. If you need to protect the table underneath, line it with newspaper and lay long strips of freezer paper on top. Offer plenty of napkins for this messy meal.

Beverages

For a casual party like a shrimp boil, set out big metal tubs filled with ice to hold bottles of beer and wine coolers. White wine also pairs well with a shrimp boil and the bottles can be set in the tubs. If someone is available to do bar duty, margaritas and mojitos add to the festive atmosphere. For something a little fancier, and without alcohol so that kids can enjoy it, make a citrus punch with sparkling water and plenty of oranges and lemons. For a fun and casual touch, serve drinks in jelly jars.

Ambience

Traditionally, a shrimp boil is held outside, where guests don't need to worry about making a mess with their food. To add more ambience to your party, string funky palm tree lights, or just plain white lights, in the trees around your table or patio. Tiki torches aren't traditional but help provide a festive atmosphere as the sun goes down. Play upbeat music in the background, such as southern rock classics or old tunes from The Beach Boys.

ReferencesFood Network: Low Country BoilSouthern Living: Southern Shrimp Boil SongsSkip to my Lou: How to Host a Shrimp BoilHGTV: Summertime Clambake PartyPhoto Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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