Broiled, boiled, grilled, sautéed, fried, or in cocktail fashion, I do not discriminate when it comes to shrimp. My family comes from a long line of shrimp-lovers, so if there was ever an opportunity to incorporate those little pink crustaceans into a meal, we'd take it. This meant shrimp cocktails during the holidays, shrimp on the barbie (sorry Australians) in the summertime, and Shrimp Louie salads maybe for someone's birthday or another special event. It wasn't until I moved to the South that my eyes were opened to the wonders of the Shrimp Boil, and what a wonder it was! Everything I loved; shrimp, corn, sausage, potatoes, lemon, all mixed into a big pot of spicy, tart, and herbaceous broth. We didn't do things like this in California! My first experience was with a Low Country Boil, and for those of you who do not know, just like with barbecue, each region of the Southeast has its own Boil. South Carolina and Georgia have the Low Country boil, Louisiana has it's Cajun Boil, and we've been told it's important not to confuse the two! Cajun Boils typically use crawfish and are held during the spring when crawfish are in season, while Low Country Boils traditionally use shrimp. Being in Asheville, NC, it was a little tough to source crawfish for our boil, so we went the shrimp route.
Using our Cajun and Creole blends from our latest collection, the Louisiana Collection, we whipped up a shrimp boil down by the river, just in time for the 4th of July! We want to celebrate our patriotism not by eating processed hotdogs and potato salad, but by exploring other American cuisines that have a history that may be lesser known. So spread out your newspaper, put the plastic utensils away, and get ready to get a little messy!
Cajun Shrimp Boil
Yields: a lot of food! invite your friends!
3 Gallons of Water
2 Sweet onions - peeled and halved
3 Stalks of celery, cut in half
4 heads of garlic, halved widthwise
7 Lemons (4 for the recipe, 3 for garnish), halved
1 cup of Spicewalla Sicilian Sea Salt
1-12 oz can of light beer
1 cup Spicewalla Cajun Seasoning
1 cup Spicewalla Creole Seasoning
3 lbs Baby red potatoes
1 1/2 lbs (24oz) Smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 lbs Shrimp, unpeeled
8 ears of corn, frozen
1. Place water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
2. Add onions, celery, garlic, lemon, kosher salt, beer, Spicewalla Cajun Seasoning, and Spicewalla Creole Seasoning. Boil for 5 minutes.
3. Add potatoes and sausage, bring back to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
4. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add frozen corn and soak for 10 minutes.
5. Drain and spread onto a newspaper-lined table
6. Finish with lemon juice and sprinkle with more Spicewalla Cajun Seasoning
7. Serve with melted butter and cocktail sauce or remoulade.