~ Everything Is Edible, Some Things Are Only Edible Once ~
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Mudbug N Shrimp Boil
As a kid I loved to watch Justin Wilson cook Cajun style foods. Unlike allot of people I never watched Julia Child until I was in my 20's. I guess that may account for my philosophy in the kitchen, that one should have fun when cooking and when people are around to entertain with humor and funny stories. In 1998 NOLS hired the restaurant that I worked at to cater a party with a Mardi Gras theme. NOLS hired a fellow from Louisiana to come in and cook some of the old classics and we assisted this fellow and learned much about the local fair of the Cajun people. Etouffee, Gumbo, King Cake, Deep fried Alligator, Stuffed Peppers, Dirty Rice, and Jambalaya and many many more. This fellow wore regular chef attire but for shores he wore, and I will never forget, Yellow Boss Mens Rubber Leggin Boot.
The reason I bring this story and recipe to light from out of the blue is because a few weeks ago I opened an email asking "Do you have any recipes for Creole boiled shrimp/crawdad with red potatoes and corn cobs?" So, I dug into my recipes and pulled out a bar napkin that I had wrote down the recipe idea on. later years I tweaked and turned it into my own that I felt suited my tastes and desires but still didn't compromise the traditional dish. So, I wouldn't say this is a traditional recipe, but its pretty darn close to the real deal minus the orange. Traditionally, from what I have read, the Seasoning Boil would be placed into a type of Bouquet Garni and would consist of Mustard seed, Coriander seed, Whole Spice, Dill Seed, whole cloves, red chili peppers dried, and bay leaves. But for time and effort sakes, most restaurants use the store bought Crab Boil which is just as good.
8 quarts water
1 dozen small red potatoes, scrubbed
2 large onions, unpeeled, cut in Quarters
2 Lemons, halved
2 Oranges, halved
1 Bag of Crab Boil
1 1/4 cups, plus 1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon cayenne
1 large head garlic, all cloves pealed (If I can, I buy them pre-pealed from store, but not always available)
1/2 pound andouille or kielbasa sausage
4 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut in half
5 pounds Crawfish
6 pounds Shrimp
you will need a Very large stock pot or one with a basket (I prefer the one with the basket)
Put the bag of Crab boil in the water then add potatoes, onions, lemons, orange, 1 1/4 cups of the salt, 1/4 cup of the cayenne, and the garlic in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil for 15 minutes.
Add the sausage, corn, crawfish, and shrimp. Using a long-handled spoon, stir around and press the contents of the pot down well into the water. Cover the pot and return to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon cayenne. Using the long-handled spoon, push down the contents in the pot. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain.
Divide the potatoes, onions, corn, and sausage into equal portions and serve with the seafood on large platters or trays.
*this will serve 4 to 6 people. If your like me, you ALWAYS want leftovers.*