From the April/May 2016 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi
©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
5 pounds jumbo (16 - 20 count) raw shrimp, shells and heads intact
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup ketchup
Couple dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste
2 large lemons, sliced
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons liquid crab boil, or to taste
8 ounces loose crab boil seasoning, divided, optional
1 pound of andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 3-inch sections
3 pounds small red potatoes
4 ears corn, shucked and cleaned, each cut into thirds
1 cup kosher salt
Rinse the shrimp with cold water and set aside. Fill an 8 quart or larger stockpot about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the next nine ingredients and return the water to a boil. Add the liquid crab boil, including half of the loose boil seasoning if using, the sausage and potatoes; boil for 10 minutes. Add the corn, boil for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and immediately remove the pot from the heat. Add the salt and stir well to dissolve. Cover the pot and allow to soak, about 10 minutes, or until shell pulls away from shrimp. Spread newspapers across table for shells. Drain or use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp, potatoes and sausage to large platters. When finished, gather up newspaper and discard.
Cook’s Notes: Multiply as needed for larger outdoor batches. Try to avoid adding ice to the boiling water when you add the shrimp as this will drop the water temperature. You can still use a larger quantity of smaller shrimp, but you’ll need to adjust your soaking time down to avoid overcooking them. Potatoes, corn and sausage may be boiled separately from the shrimp, simply reserve the seasoned water.
When cooking fresh caught crabs or crawfish, remember they must be alive when you boil them and you’ll want to purge them first before boiling. Simply add them to a large tub and soak in clean, fresh, salty water. If the water gets very muddy, drain and repeat as needed until it runs clear. We prefer to cook crabs separate from shrimp; drop the crabs in, cover and bring up to a boil, uncover and boil for about 15 to 18 minutes, then test for doneness.