The seafood boil is a time-honored tradition to any Cajun get together. The most famous is, of course, the Crawfish boil. Everyone has their own styles and approaches to the recipe. Hell, there's nothing better than good ole crawfish boil. And, of course, you have to suck the heads. But for this recipe, I'll use another, easier to find, shellfish: shrimp. Frankly, shrimp are simpler, easier to find and easier to cook. Unfortunately, living in Chicago, I can't find crawfish easily (or at all, really) or many other Cajun staples. I like this dish as something you can make anywhere, anytime with any spin on it you'd wish. This is simple dish you find most popularly in the South and the Northeast. I stole this particular version from the July/August issue of Draft Magazine.
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3 12 oz. bottles of Golden beer (recipe recommends Abita Golden)
6 cups water
1/4 cup of Cajun Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's, recipe calls for Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
2 bay leaves
4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), quartered
4 ears corn (husked and broken into thirds)
12 oz. andouille (cut diagonally into 1-inch chunks)
1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, shells on
2 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
1. Combine the beer, water and 1/4 cup of seasoning (Tony Chachere's), salt, cayenne, lemon and bay leaves in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
2. With the broth at a lively simmer, add the potatoes and cook, covered, 12 minutes, or until potatoes are just fork-tender.
3. Add the corn and sausage and cook, covered. 7 minutes more.
4. Stir the shrimp into the stockpot, turn off the flame cover and let sit no more than 2 minutes. (sorry forgot to get a pic of this!)
5. Drain immediately into a large colander, and turn onto a newspaper or parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with additional seasoning and serve.
My wife wouldn't let me throw newspaper down and do the whole spread, so we dumped ours nicely into a large bowl and ate away. Turned out fantastic. First time with the recipe (not that it was difficult), and I was pleased with the outcomes.
What sort of spins do you put on your boils?