If you're looking for a quick, easy, delicious meal, look no further than a shrimp, crawdad, or seafood boil.
One pot, some salted, and/or spiced, boiling water, and any of the following:
- red potatoes (small white ones will work too)
- corn on the cob (frequently cut in half to better fit in the pot)
- small white or yellow onions (if desired)
- lemons (optional – add to the water, or use for squeezing afterwards over the seafood)
- Andouille sausage links
- blue crabs
- Old Bay Seasoning, or Cajun Spice
- Shrimp/Seafood Boil packet, if you're doing a really large batch for family, or friends
- etc., etc..
Didn't feel much like cooking last night, but wanted something good, and thankfully I'd purchased the proper ingredients for this a few days ago.
You can add those pre-packaged, Cajun Shrimp/Seafood Boil packs to your water, if desired, if you're making a big batch, but for smaller ones, I don't bother. You can also make your own, by adding Old Bay Seasoning, liberally to the pot, or reserving to just apply to your food, after it's cooked, and on your plate – what I usually do.
I just salted the water when boiling.
Scrub the potatoes before putting in the water. Usually, they seem to take 25 – 30 min. to cook, instead of just 20, to get them fork tender.
Apply other ingredients as needed/desired, depending upon the length of cooking time required, e.g. about 10 minutes for the sausage. Perhaps about the same for the corn, 3 min. for the frozen shrimp, etc..
Melt some butter in small dishes, and use your favorite spice mix for applying to all, after removal from the boiling water, e.g. Old Bay Seasoning, Cajun Seasoning, etc..
Easy, and delicious.
Thankfully, most shrimp today come already deveined, so that drudgery is gone too, and they're ready to eat, right out of the pot, once you peel each one as you get to it.
Cut the potatoes up, and liberally apply with butter, salt and pepper, and spice mix, or just dunk in your melted butter. Sprinkle corn with spice rub, after applying melted butter, and/or salt, if you like. Dip shrimp in butter and spices.
I got one of those less expensive, Hillshire Farms Andouille sausages than the much more expensive, premium brand I prefer, which is a bit hotter. Not as tasty, but still okay. Much better, and almost as good, after dipping in the spice rub, so give that a try too.
Best of all, only one pot to clean, and dinner almost cooks itself in about 25 – 30 minutes, since there's very little prep work, and you can get the other stuff ready as the potatoes are boiling.
Restaurant grade dining for the price of a fast-food combo meal, especially if you find a sale on the shrimp. I like the 21 – 25 count for this, but you can use other sizes as well, depending upon what's available, and/or on sale, e.g. 16 – 20, or 31 – 40 count, per pound.