Sunday, July 8, 2012
Summer Shrimp Boil
It's Summer and it's too hot to cook but you want to eat something tasty that doesn't keep you in the kitchen for hours on end slaving in front of a hot stove. Right? Well in the South where summers are hot they usually take it outside for a Crab Boil. But what if you live in an apartment or condo and can't build a fire outside? Then what do you do? Well you can still bring the flavours of a crab/lobster or shrimp boil inside by doing the following: Wash, Drop and Boil. What if you don't have Lobster or crab? Well I didn't have either of those but I did have some Raw Frozen Shrimp. You still get the taste of a Crab Boil but it just becomes a Shrimp Boil instead.
This was my first attempt so I will tell you what I would do to make it better next time I make it.
Wash the following:
Baby potatoes or potatoes cut and quartered. Baby potatoes means you don't have to do much except wash and toss.
2 or 3 Ears of Corn
Old Bay seasoning
Red Hot Sauce
In a large dutch oven on high heat add some butter to the bottom of the pot and when it's melted add a few cloves of garlic and an onion cut in half, and a celery stalk quartered. These ingredients don't need to be finely chopped because they are just flavouring the broth.
Add Old Bay seasonings depending on how much flavour you want and how big your pot is. Be generous so that your food gets seasoned well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add your potatoes and cover the potatoes with water or you could use vegetable stock even.
Bring the potatoes to a boil and make sure they are cooked most of the way through. Because the corn and shrimp only take a few minutes to cook you need to cook the potatoes in the broth until they are tender before you add the corn and shrimp.
Once the potatoes are cooked you can add the corn, I broke my corn in half to get it into the pot easier and easier to distribute when serving too. Add your frozen shrimp. I used zipperback raw frozen shrimp so that they would cook in the boiling liquid and be easy to peel after.
Put a lid on the whole thing and cook for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are completely changed color to pink. Cooking shrimps is like cooking mussels... they tell you when they are done by either changing color or opening up.
Once it's all cooked just scoop out all the shrimp and vegetables into a huge serving platter. When they do crab boils outside they usually use less liquid and just toss everything onto a picnic table lined with newspapers. But since this is my apartment recipe I just put it all into a large serving bowl.
To serve pour melted butter over top and splash a few drops of hot sauce and cajun seasonings and squeeze a lemon over the whole thing. You could do individual seasonings so that people can add as much as they like if you make a boat load for a family. I just made it for myself so I took the easy way out and tossed it all in the same bowl.
You can also add chopped parsley if you like to add some fresh flavour and color.
Make sure you have lots of napkins on hand because it will get messy.
Note: My ingredients are a guideline... you will have to experiment with your ingredients depending on the size of your pot and how many people you want to feed. The bigger the pot the more people you can feed.
This is one of those One Pot Wonders. Cleanup is pretty easy afterwards too. One pot to clean and if you use the outside method of dumping it onto a newspaper lined table then all you need is a fork.
Have a Shrimp Boil adventure this weekend. Pretend you are in the South when you are just chilling at home. And the bonus part is that since it all cooks in one pot on the stove you won't heat up your kitchen too much and won't waste a lot of electricity and time getting dinner on the *table*. literally.