Cajun Shrimp Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce – Zenwise Cajun Shrimp Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce – Zenwise
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Cajun Shrimp Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce


From the sun-drenched coasts of Louisiana to the bustling seafood markets of New England, seafood boils are a beloved tradition steeped in history and rich with cultural significance.

The roots of the seafood boil can be traced back to our earliest societies, where communal feasting on the shore was as much about celebration as it was about sustenance.

In the United States, this tradition evolved uniquely in different regions. In the South, particularly Louisiana, the crayfish boil emerged as a festive gathering, deeply influenced by French and Cajun culinary practices. This communal event involves boiling crayfish with potatoes, corn, and an array of spices that fill the air with mouthwatering aromas.

Similarly, in the coastal regions of the Northeast, crab boils are a summer staple. Blue crabs are steamed or boiled in large pots with a mix of spices, often accompanied by hearty sides like corn on the cob and red potatoes. These gatherings are not just meals but social events, where the cracking of shells and the sharing of food foster a sense of community and joy.

Even the Midwest has its own fish boil that seemed to have begun sometime in the 1900s. when commercial fishermen in the Upper Midwest boiled some of their catch to feed the crew. Fish was added to huge vats of boiling water with potatoes, corn, and other seasonings, then the ingredients were dumped onto a newspaper-lined table for all to enjoy.

These boils are culinary traditions celebrated around the United States every year.

But you don’t have to wait for your region’s season to gather round with friend and family, here’s an at-home, Cajun version that mixes shrimp, andouille sausage, corn-on-the-cob, and potatoes, cooked in a flavorful broth then tossed in melted garlic butter.

The best part is that it’s ready to eat in 30 minutes and perfect for a hungry crowd! Serve in an extra-large baking sheet or platter for everyone to enjoy. Add warm crusty bread and salad for a fun and healthy meal.

 

Why we love these ingredients

Shrimp is a great source of lean protein and a delicious way to support heart health. Research shows that shrimp eaters have lower rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stronger hearts. Shrimp are also abundant in Vitamin E and zinc, which supports immune health and aids in wound healing.

Corn is a gut health BFF thanks to high levels of insoluble fiber, which can help regulate bowel movements and promote healthy digestion. Corn is also full of “resistant starch.” This starch makes its home in your large intestine, where it acts like a prebiotic, or food source, for beneficial bacteria.  Research shows that resistant starch can help reduce insulin resistance, which, in turn, improves blood sugar control.

And what is there not to love about garlic.  It reduces inflammation. It helps with nutrient absorption. It powers up immune health. It keeps your microbiome balanced. It also contains antiviral compounds that protect against colds, pathogens and even memory loss!

 

Pro tips to get you started

The challenging part of an at-home fish boil is that all the ingredients have different cooking times. You don’t want to toss all the ingredients in the broth at the same time, because by the time the potatoes and corn are done everything else will be overcooked.  So here’s a road map for amazing results:

  1. Start the broth. get the largest stockpot you have. Fill it with water and beer, bring to a boil then add seasonings
  2. After broth has boiled for 15 minutes, add potatoes,  Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add corn, sausage, and mussels/clams [if using] to broth. cook for about five minutes.
  4. Finally, add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly pink.
  5. Empty ingredients on to large baking sheet, drizzle with butter mix and enjoy!  [PS: don’t forget to discard any mussel or clam shells that have not opened.]

 While fresh shrimp has a better texture and flavor, you can use frozen shrimp. However be sure to thaw them first.

Let’s get cooking!

Cajun Shimp Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 55 minutes 

Yield: 6 

Ingredients

For the Cajun seafood boil:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 (12-ounce) can of beer
  • 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Your favorite hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges- plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes, red or gold (or a mix of both)
  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs. jumbo shrimp, deveined and  peeled
  • 1 lb. mussels or clams
  • 4 ears sweet corn on the cob, cut in halves or thirds


For the garlic butter sauce:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 10 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning [less or more according to taste]
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Hot sauce, to taste


Instructions

 

  1. Prepare the boil. In an extra large stockpot (about 10 quarts or larger) over medium-high heat, combine the water and beer. Bring the liquid to a boil.

  2. Add the sliced onion and lemon wedges into the pot then season broth with Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Stir all the ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Let the mixture boil for 15 minutes.

  3. Add the andouille & potatoes. Carefully add the andouille sausage rounds and baby potatoes into the pot, stirring well to fully combine with the boil. Let the andouille and potatoes cook for 15-20 minutes- or until the potatoes are just about fork-tender.

  4. Add the seafood & corn. Gently nestle the corn on the cob and mussels/clams  into the broth. Be sure that everything is fully submerged under the boil and carefully stir all ingredients until combined. Continue boiling for another 5 minutes.

  5. Add shrimp. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and the mussel/clam shells open. 

  6. Garlic butter sauce: While boil is cooking, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, parsley, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and hot sauce- to taste. Simmer until the butter melts and the sauce is well combined, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes. Then remove from heat. Note: If you’d like your garlic butter sauce to be thinner, you can add some of the boil broth a bit at a time to desired consistency. 

  7. To serve: Line an extra-large baking sheet with foil/parchment. Use a strainer to remove the seafood boil contents from the pot and place onto the prepared baking sheet. remove and discard the onion/lemon bits. Pour the garlic butter sauce over everything, then mix well.  Garnish with some Old Bay seasoning, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice. Serve extra lemon wedges on the side.  Enjoy!

 

 

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