When K and I went to Texas in October, we had big plans to go out, see the sights, and gallivant around town. We saw Cowboy stadium, went out to delicious dinners, and went to the Texas State Fair. By the end of the trip, we were tired. So on the final night, we decided to stay in and have a classic shrimp boil. A big bowl of shrimp, potatoes, and corn with spicy, horseradish-y cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Simple, clean, delicious.
Recently, while wandering through the grocery store, surprisingly without dinner plans in mind, K and I remembered that meal and the fun conversation and decided to try it. Spicy Cajun shrimp, potatoes, and cocktail sauce and a big bowl–it was perfect.
A shrimp boil is actually very easy to do. I started with potatoes and boiling water. The potatoes cooked until about 15 minutes before they were finished, then I added lots of Cajun spices and shrimp boil seasonings. Old Bay seasoning, Emeril’s Essence, thyme, garlic cloves, onion, cayenne pepper, lemon, salt and black pepper all went into the boiling water.
After a couple of minutes, I added a pound and a half of deveined shrimp with the peels still on and let those cook for about 10 minutes.
When the shrimp were pink and cooked through, I drained the whole pot and transferred it to a big bowl. I squeezed the juice from one lemon over the top and put it in the fridge for about an hour, until the shrimp were cooled.
Meanwhile, I baked some corn muffins and whipped up some spicy cocktail sauce. The Haley’s don’t do wimpy cocktail sauce. Bring on the horseradish!
The final spread included the shrimp and potatoes, cocktail sauce, butter for the corn muffins, the corn muffins themselves, and lemon wedges.
A little wine doesn’t hurt either.
This was such a wonderful meal. The shrimp was slightly spicy but not overbearing and paired nicely with the potatoes and corn muffins.
It’s a quick, simple meal that is both filling and delicious. And, if you decide you want some crusty french bread instead of the corn muffins, it only uses one pot! I love not doing dishes.
Here’s the recipe!
Cajun Shrimp Boil
- 4 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp with the shell still on
- 1 onion, quartered into wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 3 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence (Cajun Seasoning)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 3 lemons
- A couple of turns of freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender but not all the way fork tender.
- Add all seasonings, garlic, the juice of one lemon and the lemon and onion and cook for 5 minutes more. Add shrimp and cook for about 10 minutes, until shrimp were pink and cooked through. At this step, my father explicitly said “Do not overcook the shrimp!” So, don’t do that. Daddy would disapprove.
- When the shrimp are cooked through, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the entire thing, while they are still very hot, then refrigerate for at least an hour, until the shrimp are cooled, or at least cool enough to handle.
- Serve with your favorite cocktail sauce, corn muffins or a crusty baguette, and lemon wedges from the remaining lemon.