I invited friends over for dinner last night. I had no idea what I was going to make, though. Summertime makes me want to eat simple foods. Things that are not too rich or too heavy. And, of course, I love the idea of using the grill so I don’t have to heat up my whole house. However, those things combined don’t always create the most impressive of meals. So I started to rack my brain for ideas. I wanted to keep it easy and fuss-free, but still delicious and special. That took me back to an engagement party I went to one summer. It was a shrimp boil. I had never been to a shrimp boil. It was so much fun! The party was out on a ranch and held in a barn. There were two GIANT pots of seasoned water boiling away (imagine that) that were filled with not only shrimp, but potatoes, corn and sausage. As the food finished, the cooks would dump the perfectly cooked and seasoned food onto newspaper covered tables and we would dive right in! It was delicious (and fun)! I thought that might be a good thing to try to do with my friends.
Seeing as how I’m not from Louisiana, I’m not really sure how to go about the boiling “thing.” So I decided to try my hand at a Texas-style shrimp “boil.” I went to Heb and started gathering ingredients: lemons, baby new potatoes, fresh, sweet corn, garlic, large shrimp (in the shell), Andouille sausage, and some orange roughy filets.
I got home and started putting it all together. I cut the corn and sausage into 3 inch pieces and the potatoes into bite size pieces. I sliced the lemons into rounds and smashed several garlic cloves. I started a foil packet for each guest. On large squares of heavy duty foil, I piled several potatoes, 2 pieces of corn, 3-4 pieces of sausage and a lemon ring. I sprinkled it all with my homemade Cajun seasoning and drizzled it with olive oil. I sealed each packet well and put it on a medium heat grill with the cover down for 20 minutes.
On another very large piece of foil, I drizzled olive oil and then laid the orange roughy filets down. I covered the fish with a layer of lemon rings, 5 smashed garlic cloves, 1 T of butter (diced into small pieces) and then I poured a pound of large shrimp over the top. Sprinkled it all with more Cajun seasoning and sealed the packet up tight. I added it to the packets already on the grill and let it go for about 10 minutes.
It turned out great!! We each picked a potato packet, opened it up and added some shrimp and fish from the other packet. I served it with crusty French bread to soak up all of the lemony, garlicky, buttery juices. It wasn’t quite a newspaper covered table in a barn under the stars, but it was still fun. And clean-up? Everything went in the trash! No dishes to wash besides our plates. Homemade vanilla ice cream (blue bell) and summer strawberries were the perfect sweet ending.
Give this Texas-style “boil” a shot at your house. It was easy and fast. And did I mention healthy? (minus the sausage, of course) I am going to give you my recipe for the seasoning I threw together. Hope you enjoy!
My “Cajun” Seasoning:
- ½ Cup Season Salt
- 2T Cayenne pepper
- ¼ Cup granulated garlic
- ¼ Cup paprika
- 2T onion powder
- 1T crushed red pepper
- 1T black pepper
- 2T Thyme leaves
Stir all of these spices together and store in an airtight container.