Monday, April 18, 2011

Shrimp Boil & Caesar Salad with Shrimp and Crash Potatoes

Yesterday, I put together a shrimp boil, known to some as a low country boil. It has lots of variations, and this one is what I use, although I have noted some of the variations. Please note that all measurements are estimates, and some people will eat more, and others will eat less. I will give per person estimates for everything based on what we eat at my house. This is a great meal to feed 2 or 10, because it just takes a giant pot of boiling water. Also, I was really excited to make it so I could use the new stock pot we got as a wedding gift. Special thanks to the Geiger family and the Kirby family, who gave us gift cards to Bed, Bath, and Beyond so we could purchase things from our registry, like the stock pot!

Shrimp Boil (printable)
You will need the following for each person you are trying to feed:
~1/2 lb. large, raw, deveined shrimp
~2-3 small red skinned potatoes per person
~1-2 ears of corn per person
~1/2 med. onion per person
~1 lemon per person
(Other variations include smoked sausage cut into 4-6" pieces, crab legs, or crawfish)

Spices (These are the approximate amounts I use in ~8 quarts of water.):
3-4 T. salt
2 T. whole pepper corns
50-60 grinds fresh cracked black pepper
50 shakes red pepper flakes
1-2 T. cayenne
2-3 bay leaves (optional)

Put water in a large stock pot (mine is a 16 quart), and add spices. Peel the onion(s) and quarter them and add them to the pot. Cut the lemons in half, juice them into the pot, and add the spent lemons. Bring this to a boil. You should have a nice fragrant mix. You can taste a little if you like to check the spiciness, and dilute with water or add more spices to suit your taste.
While you're waiting for the water to boil, wash the potatoes, and shuck the corn breaking each ear into 2-3 pieces.
To the boiling water, add the potatoes and cook them for 10 minutes. Then add the corn and cook an additional 6-10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Once the potatoes are tender, add the shrimp, and cook for ~3 minutes, or until they turn pink and start floating. Once the shrimp are done, put everything in a big bowl, take it outside to a picnic table covered with newspaper, and DIG IN!
You might wish to serve this with melted butter, or not. Also, you can use plates and utensils, or you can just eat everything with your hands over the newspaper, and then wad it up and throw away paper, peels, and cobs!

As it turned out, neither of us was super hungry yesterday, and I cooked extra potatoes, so we had a lot of leftovers. Tonight, we had caesar salad with spicy shrimp, crash potatoes, and corn on the cob. I have read Pioneer Woman on and off for a while, but I went through all of her recipes over the last few weeks. I picked out several I wanted to try, and tonight, I made a variation of her crash potatoes to go with our planned salad and shrimp.

Crash Potatoes
Using the left over potatoes from our boil, I tried out PW's recipe, with some cheese on top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Liberally oil a sheet pan with olive oil, and place the potatoes on it. Smash the potatoes with a masher so that they are disk-like. Brush them with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper, and if you're me, sprinkle a little mozzarella and parmesan on top. Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes until they are starting to brown. Eat-them-up-yum!

Spicy Shrimp
I added about 1 T. of butter to a skillet over medium heat. While the butter was melting, Darren and I peeled the left over shrimp from last night. I added the shrimp to the skillet and sprinkled them liberally with cayenne and black pepper and tossed them around for a couple of minutes until they were heated through. Then I dumped them on top of a nice caesar salad that Darren made with a bag of lettuce and a kit.

I also heated the corn in some boiling water with a little salt and a little sugar. Dinner is served!

1 comment:

  1. Shrimp yum. Sounds great and wish I had some shrimp with potatoes to eat right now. I don't find the bay leaves optional, but a necessity. When I was a child, shrimp were always boiled with bay leaves and celery leaves and served with melted butter and lemon. At a crawfish boil, we had artichokes in the mix and they were the best tasty tender artichokes ever. I have read or heard of adding mushrooms, bell pepper, or carrots, but never tried those.