Shrimp Boil with Freshly Made Cocktail Sauce
I have a small confession. I love fall. I’ve been fighting it for several years now but I am ready to just finally admit it to myself. I. LOVE. FALL. All my life growing up it was Summer that I loved. When I was a kid I would leave the house after breakfast and my mom wouldn’t see me until dusk and I would be fighting having to come in even then. That’s just crazy to think about. There’s no way on earth kids could do that now! At times I do miss Summer but it’s taken a back seat to Fall. As I get older I feel the heat so much more and want to hibernate during the scorching months. I’m getting old. When Fall rolls around it’s amazing! Today is a gorgeous Fall day. The sun is shining. The air is crisp and the wind is blowing the leaves around. The food though…is perfect. All comfort and warm and gooey! I love Fall. Ok…tangent over. On to the food.
Sorry guys about the delay on Fun Cajun Friday’s post. You see, today the iPhone 5 came out. My iPhone had severe issues so I was at the AT&T store this morning bright and early at 6:45…but I got my shiny new phone and I love it! I’ve been playing with it all day! That put my post behind. I’ve been super busy lately and haven’t been able to do the things I’ve needed to get my post out on time, so I’m sorry but you have my undivided attention! Promise.
Last Sunday was of course a football Sunday, as they all are in my house. SO, we had a shrimp boil and I thought I’d share it with y’all. You may know how to boil shrimp but this is a big pot of spicy yumminess! I love one pot meals. The cleanup is simple and it just fosters that fun atmosphere when everyone is just eating from the same big pot.
I also made cocktail sauce. I always, always make it when we eat anything that goes with it. It’s so much better than the store bought! If it seems intimidating just keep calm…it’s super simple!
The ingredients for a shrimp boil can be anything you like. My attempt for most of my posts is to give you ideas for meals (appetizers, entrees, side dishes, desserts, party foods) that are different but not difficult. If I am using cheddar in my recipe and you like provolone or American cheese, use that! Use what you like and what you have. That’s what makes things individual and you and your sweet family will enjoy it even more.
I am landlocked where I live and the beach is about four hours from home so all the seafood we get is frozen. That’s a disappointment for me since I am such a seafood fan but I make do. Anytime I’m in New Orleans I eat all the seafood I can get so it works out.
As you can see from the picture I have to buy the frozen shrimp but the point is to get the largest shrimp, frozen or fresh, that you can. No one wants to do the work to peel them when they’re tiny. Also, get the ones with the shell on. If they’ve been deveined they are simple to peel but the shell holds in the boil flavor better. These actually turned out really well.
I use both the bag of Zatarain’s seasoning and the liquid boil. You can go ahead and put the bag in while the water is coming to a boil but always, always wait on the liquid boil until right before you put your ingredients in. If you don’t you’ll not only boil out your flavor but it gets pretty strong in the air and can make the entire house come down with a coughing fit. The ingredients are really simple and don’t require too much work. Just do a very rough chop. Just look at all those colors! Even the onions are thrown in there sliced fairly large. I just peel the garlic and add the whole cloves along with a sliced lemon. Normally I use the small, red new potatoes but my grocery didn’t have any so we used the petite golds. They were perfectly fine. Just remember to get the smallest potato you can find. Even fingerlings would work if that’s what you have. And corn. It’s one of my favorite things in a shrimp or crawfish boil! You could use fresh if you have it but I would cut the corn into small portions and let it boil a little longer than the frozen. Also, you could throw in some mushrooms. We use mushrooms a lot but I was out this time. I am one of those cooks who rarely measures. I grew up watching my mom and eventually helping out in the kitchen and that’s the way she cooks. I use more of what I like and less of what I don’t so it’s all up to you. It makes writing a blog a little difficult because I have to concentrate more on what I’m doing but I’m getting the hang of it. The point is, use what you like! It’s your shrimp boil!
Once you’ve got your shrimp boil going, it’s time to make the cocktail sauce. I can’t eat shrimp without it and the bottled kind is just normally not the best. I usually make it, divide it up and then make mine hotter!
There are only 4 ingredients. You probably have them all in your fridge right now. Just mix it all together concentrating on what you like the most. I like horseradish a lot and the worcestershire so I use a good bit. Here’s the recipe for the Cocktail Sauce:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 medium lemon squeezed about half way
- 1 Tablespoon (or more) worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon (or more) HOT prepared horseradish
These are rough estimates on the ingredients. Use what you like! Here goes the recipe:
- 4 lbs (or more) of large shrimp (thawed)
- 1 bag of Zatarain’s Crawfish Shrimp and Crab Boil
- 1 small bottle (8 oz) Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab Boil (or more if you want them nice and spicy)
- 1 teaspoon salt (for this size pot…just make sure you salt your water heavily)
- 2-3 bell peppers (color of your choice) roughly sliced
- 1 small to medium onion roughly sliced
- 2-3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 small lemon sliced
- Small potatoes, any variety (I used 2 bags)
- 1-2 pieces of corn per person
In a very large pot (I used a 16 qt pot and filled it about 60%-70% of the way) add salt and bring water to a boil. Add seasoning bag and liquid shrimp boil along with peppers, onion, garlic, lemon and potatoes. Let boil until potatoes are cooked about half way. When you pierce with a fork they should be slightly firm. Cooking time to this point is around 7 minutes. Add corn and bring back to a rolling boil. Add shrimp, bring back to a boil and turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes or more. The longer it sits the more flavor and spice it will have. At this point, taste a shrimp. Is it spicy enough? If so, strain everything onto a large platter and dig in! Serve with softened butter and salt for the potatoes and corn.
What’s your favorite ingredient in a Shrimp Boil? Besides the shrimp mine has to be the corn. Your comments make my day!! So speak up!