In the south, during the summer months, we are always outside enjoying the beautiful weather. While we are out we usually have get togethers like family BBQ’s or grilling at the lake. We love being outdoors in the warm air and cooking up good food. This recipe always graces our get togethers at one point or another. It serves about 4 but we usually triple the recipe and make a bunch so no one misses out on this southern cajun classic.
It is spicy and filled with cooked to perfection shrimp. I have this base recipe so that way I know exactly how much spice to add or how little to add depending on our heat tolerance that day. Don’t get me wrong, we love our spicy food just as much as the next guy. This Shrimp Boil is just perfect and very versatile so you can add in or take out what ever you like or don’t like. Awesome right. ummmm yeah!. lol.
I often sub out the shrimp for crab legs, crawfish, gator, or some style of clams or mussels. It turns out delicious every time. So let’s put on our seafood bib and dig in… 😃
1/2 cup old bay seasoning ( you can use less or more to heat preference- this is mild to us)
1/4 cup paprika ( we use half regular and half smoked paprika)
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
4 quarts of water (16 cups)
Zest of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons ( halved)
16-18 small red potatoes ( rinsed clean)
2 large onions- cut in wedges
2 lbs smoked sausage ( we use cajun style andouille smoked sausage) cut in to 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
6 to 10 ears of corn on half cob
4 lbs shrimp ( shells on- tail on and deveined)
1-2 tbsp chicken boullion powder
1 head garlic – halved ( or you can use about 1 small jar of minced garlic)
- In a 10 quart stock pot add in the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Be patient because this will take a while. About 30 minutes. When it comes to a boil add in your paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice (I just squeeze in the juice and add the whole lemon in) old bay seasoning, and the chicken broth powder. Give this a stir and let this cook for about 5-10 minutes. This helps the spices get a head start and helps develop their delicious flavor.
- Turn the heat to medium and make sure it is boiling before moving forward. When it is boiling add in the potatoes and onion. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add in the smoked sausage and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes. This helps the sausage give more flavor to the stock.
- Add in the corn and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes. At this point check to see if the potatoes are tender. Just stick the tip of a knife into the potato and if it is tender and releases the potato with no fuss you are good to go. If you find it a bit sticky to release, continue to cook until the potatoes are tender. It should take about 5 minutes or so if the need to cook longer depending on the size of the small potatoes.
- When ready add the shrimp and gently stir together. Cook for about 4 minutes. I find that the shell and tail of the shrimp adds a wonderful note to the broth. Turn heat off and add the lemon zest and stir. Cover with a lid and let stand for about 10 minutes up to 20 minutes.
HERBED LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
1 stick butter
1 tbsp fresh thyme- chopped
1/4 cup parsley- chopped
1 tbsp rosemary – chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp old bay seasoning
- In a sauce pan over medium low heat melt the butter. Add the lemon juice, chicken broth and old bay seasoning. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on low. remove from heat and stir in the thyme, rosemary, and parsley. I always add them at the end so they release their flavor and not cook them so it keeps its fresh flavor and color. Pour in a serving dish and serve on the side so you can pour over the shrimp boil when plated or dip into it. It really compliments the dish very well.
- You can reserve some of the cooking broth to serve over the dish and rice if you prefer. We often do this because the broth is absolutely wonderful especially over rice. You can also serve with a side salad and crusty bread for dipping in the sauce as well.
- You can always sub out the shrimp for any other seafood you prefer such as crab legs, crab meat, scallops, mussels, clams, etc. You can also add in alligator pieces as well if you prefer. Like I said it is such a versatile dish and it will taste delicious no matter which type of seafood you prefer to add.
- If you can not fine shell on – tail on shrimp you can use peeled and deveined shrimp as well. Or you can just do deveined tail on shrimp.
- If you plan to add in clams or mussels please clean them properly before adding them to the dish. I soak mine in salt water for about 30 minutes to help them purge. Them I shuck them ( if needed) and scrub them really well with a toothbrush. Rinse well and add directly to the pot. Discard the ones that do not open as they are not good. Don’t eat those. Only eat the ones that open.
- If you need to see step by step you can always click the link below and it will take you to my channel and you can get all the step by step information you need.