Friendsgiving is one of my favorite holidays. However, since I’m not wild about Thanksgiving food (gasp!), I decided to ditch the traditional turkey and sides and deliver an unexpected twist of a Cajun shrimp boil. I love fun, experiential, family style meals so I though a shrimp boil would be a great hit. When it comes to hosting a great Friendsgiving, I have learned several key lessons to ensure a fun, stress-free evening. Number 1: never make anything new. You will fret and worry and not enjoy the company. Cooking with confidence equals success. Number 2: Never make more than 2 dishes. More than 2 is completely overwhelming. Focus on making 2 great dishes, rather than 5 mediocre ones. As a supplement, a store bought dessert is acceptable or a simple cheese and cracker plate as appetizers are also a good option.
With these 3 great rules, you can have a great dinner party. For my Friendsgiving shrimp boil, the broth is filled with Cajun seasonings of paprika, celery salt, garlic powder and black pepper. I prefer Old Bay Seasoning from Maryland but any “shrimp boil” seasoning at the grocery store should suffice. My secret to a magnificent boil is citrus. Lots of it. I find that this adds a nice fresh note to the boil and pairs perfectly with the shrimp. Therefore, I use the juice and the zest of the fruit and add both lemon and limes to take it over the top.
The results are addicting delicious combination of the plump shrimp, the sweet corn, the spicy sausage, and the zing of the citrus. The dish is a one pot wonder that is perfect for this time of year. I hope you enjoy!
- 1/2 cup of Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 tbs of salt
- 4 quarts of water
- 1 can of beer
- 8 medium potatoes, quartered
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 1 lbs of smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 8 ear of corn, shucked and halved
- 4 lbs of shell on shrimp
- 3 lemons
- 2 limes
- Add the old bay, salt, beer and water to a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Add potatoes and onion and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Zest all 3 lemons and limes and add to the stock pot.
- Cut the lemons and limes in half and add the juice and the rinds to the pot.
- Add smoked sausage and cook for 5 minutes
- Add the corn, cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the shirmp and cook for 4 minutes until pink.
- Serve immediately.