summer shrimp boil

every summer i make this dish at least once, as it reminds me of classical new england summer cooking.  the whole dinner is made in one pot and served on a large plate family style. a variety of seafood can be added to the recipe, such as clams, mussels, lobster, or even scallops.  we prefer just having large shrimp, and find the meal quite hearty without adding more seafood.
a large pot of water is started on the stove, with the pot filled to just over one-half.  as the water comes to a boil, i squeeze in two lemons that have been sliced in half, and drop them in.  at this time, i also add the sliced onions. they are rough cut in half.  this weekend, i used both shallots and small yellow onions.  i also add at this time, one packet of shrimp and crab boil seasoning.  after the mixture has boiled for ten minutes, i add the small red potatoes.  they are added whole, and boiled for 15-18 minutes. then, the fresh corn on the cob, which has been sliced into smaller thirds, is added to the boiling pot.  the corn boils for about 5-7 minutes, and then the peeled and cleaned shrimp are added.  i leave the tails on for presentation.  the shrimp boil for 3-5 minutes depending on their size.  when everything is cooked, i use a very large wire strainer to remove the meal from the pot.  i serve coleslaw and fresh herb bread with the meal. a small dish of melted margarine can be used to drizzle over the meal as desired.
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