Once upon a time, I was just a young girl accompanying my family to the first University of Tennessee football game of the season. Little did I know that I would discover a WONDERFUL new type of food. Little did I know that, ten plus years from now, we would still be making it! But here were are, big pot and large stirring stick in hand, ready to share.
Let me introduce you to one of my family’s all time favorite dinners to make: a cajun seafood boil. All you need is a big pot (you don’t need to have a fancy outdoor one like my parents), some veggies, fish, meat and spices. Forty-five minutes later and you’ll be good to go!
Not to mention this is a GREAT tailgating food if you happen to have a propane powered outdoor cooker like my dad.
But let’s get back to the story of the first time I had this awesome dinner, shall we?
My father’s sister lives in New Orleans, LA. The year I met Mr. cajun seafood boil, UT’s season opener was against my cousin’s college, University of Southern Mississippi. My aunt, uncle, cousin + a dozen of their closet friends drove all the way from Louisiana to Tennessee and set up camp in the middle of UT’s tailgating crowd. Out came tons of food, several outdoor cookers, and bags of homemade spices. An hour later and the chefs were challenging UT fans to eat a potato or small piece of corn. If you could survive the heat of the spices, you could win yourself a free beer. Next thing I knew we had a group of tailgating friends at our table, exchanging hamburgers, hot dogs, and other tasty pre-game food for samples of the boil.
Now, I must say that I could hardly eat some of the food that day. It was so spicy! So when my family set out to start making the boil ourselves, we dialed it down considerably.
Cajun Seafood Boil (print recipe)
Serves 8 - Prep Time: 15 minutes - Cook Time: 45 minutes
What You’ll Need:
- 6 lemons, halved
- 3 garlic bulbs, leave whole
- 1 lb. red potatoes, leave whole, skin on
- 5 large white onions, leave whole
- 12 small ears of corn
- 2 quarts (roughly) white mushrooms, leave whole
- 2-3 lbs. Andouille sausage, diced in 1 inch pieces
- 2 lbs. large shrimp
- 1 full container of Old Bay Seasoning (Zatarain’s Seafood Seasoning works well too)
- 1/4 cup Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1. Begin by filling a large stock pot with water. Fill until 50% full. Turn heat on high.
2. While water begins to heat up, squeeze all six lemons into the pot and place left over lemons in water. Add all three garlic bulbs, Old Bay seasoning and Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning. Bring to a boil.
3. While maintaining heat (aka, keep the water boiling), add the potatoes to the pot. Cook for ten minutes, or until potatoes seem halfway cooked.
4. Next, add onions to pot. Cook for five more minutes.
5. Add corn, mushrooms and sausage to mixture. Cook for ten minutes or until all ingredients seem fully cooked.
6. Turn off heat source and add the shrimp to the pot. Cook until shrimp is a nice pink color (about 3-5 minutes).
Serve by laying newspaper out on an outdoor table or over large platters. Drain the liquid out of the pop and then pour the boil mixture onto the newspapers. Season with salt and pepper, and leave more creole seasoning on the table for each person to season to their liking!