Lobster (Or Other Seafood) Boil
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground
- 3 cloves
- 1 pound small waxy red or white potatoes, halved or left whole
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 4 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut in half
- Four 1 1/2-pound lobsters, 16 to 24 blue or rock crabs, 3 pounds whole crawfish, or 2 pounds unpeeled shrimp
- 2 lemons, quartered, for serving
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted, optional
- Fill a stockpot halfway with water, add the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, garlic, coriander, cloves, a small handful of salt, the potatoes, and the onions.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cook the potatoes and onions until they are tender and can be speared easily, 8 to 10 minutes from when the water comes to a boil.
- Fish the potatoes out of the pot and put them on a large platter.
- Add the corn to the pot, bring the water back to a boil, and cook until it's bright yellow, 2 minutes.
- Transfer the corn to the platter with tongs.
- Add whatever seafood to the pot.
- Bring the water back to a gentle but steady boil, cover, and cook: The lobsters will take 10 to 12 minutes; crabs and crawfish 5 to 10 minutes; shrimp 3 to 5 minutes.
- When cooked, the lobster, crab, and crawfish will be bright red and the shrimp pale pink and opaque throughout.
- To make sure the lobster is fully cooked, insert a quick-read thermometer into the joint at the base of the tail and into the tail meat; it should read between 140 F and 150 F.
- Transfer the seafood and onions with tongs or a small strainer to the platter with the potatoes and corn.
- Ladle some of the juices into a bowl to serve on the side along with the lemon wedges and some melted butter.