You don’t need to be on the coast in New Orleans this summer to enjoy a shrimp boil. All you need are a few of the freshest ingredients, a huge stock pot, some newspaper, friends and beverages.
A shrimp boil is one of the few reasons to get friends to flock to your house. It’s a great show, the food is fabulous and layering it all over newspaper is an extraordinary way to eat.
What makes a Great Shrimp Boil
- There are very few ingredients required to make a shrimp boil, nor are there any sauces you can use to cover up the screw ups you made. So the first key is to get the freshest ingredients you can buy and cook this boil immediately after purchasing them.
- Another key to a successful and succulent shrimp boil is in the layering. Layering the ingredients into the pot ensures everything is cooked to perfection, but more importantly, at the same time. Start with the items that take the longest to cook, which would be the potatoes and corn. The sausage comes next (which is already cooked). The shrimp joins the party last as it takes the least amount of time to cook.
- Lastly, is flavor. You want this water to have as much flavor as possible to infuse into the potatoes, corn, shrimp etc. Keep the shells on the shrimp with this boil. There is a lot of flavor in the seasoning packets and if the shrimp are peeled first they will become too spicy to eat. Trust us, you get enough of the flavor on your fingers as you are peeling the shrimp which ultimately ends up in your mouth anyway.
What to Serve with a Shrimp Boil
Most people are happy as clams with what’s in front of them. But if you are serving a large crowd or just want to round the meal out a bit, a tossed salad, maybe something green like fresh green beans and a nice loaf of crusty bread are great options to serve with your shrimp boil.
Additions to your Boil:
Don’t let your boil stop with just shrimp – you can add lobster, Blue crab, King Crab legs and crawfish to name a few. Take a look at this show stopper:
- 8–10 quarts water
- (2) Louisiana or Zatarain’s brand seafood-boil seasoning pouches
- 1/3 Cup Sea Salt (NOT TABLE salt)
- 4 Lemons (2 for cooking, 2 for serving)
- 2 Onions, cleaned and cut into large pieces
- 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1 pound Small Red Potatoes, cut in half
- 6 Ears Corn, broken in half or thirds
- 2 pounds Smoked Sausage (kielbasa or andouille), cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 pounds Jumbo Shrimp (shrimp can be deveined with the tails on)
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Old Bay Seasoning (for sprinkling)
- Fill a VERY large pot with 8-10 quarts of water. Cut 2 lemons into quarters and squeeze into the water, along with rinds. Add onion, garlic and seafood seasoning to water and bring the water to boil.
- Add cut potatoes to the water and cook until just barely fork tender (8-10 min). Add the corn and sausage, cook another 5-6 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes or until pink.
- Drain and place all ingredients onto a large baking sheet.
- Melt butter in microwave safe bowl.
- Whisk in a pinch of salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
- Pour 1/2 of the butter over the shrimp and stir to coat. (Save the rest of the butter for serving)
- Garnish with parsley and lemons.
- Sprinkle with some Old Bay seafood seasoning to taste, if desired.
- Serving Size: 4-6