Because we wanted to celebrate our house in Alabama selling and becoming Texans for good, we had a shrimp boil. So I got to researching and trying to come up with a good go-to recipe for our family.
When we moved from Alabama to West Texas, we put our house on the market – just in time for the housing market crash. As a result, it took over 5 years for our Alabama home to sell. And it finally did! So it was definitely time to party!
What better way to celebrate than with a shrimp boil? Shrimp boils are very common on the Gulf coast, but for some reason, there are just not that many of them in West Texas! But our location and lack of coastline didn’t stop us.
Because it takes a good amount of time to cook, a shrimp boil is all about sharing. That means that is great for a large gathering in someone’s backyard. The more the merrier! But make sure you have your biggest cooking pots ready to go.
A Short Recipe Search
Our oldest daughter and her husband were on vacation to the Texas coast and brought back a lot of frozen shrimp. As a result, they have had quite a few shrimp boils.
The following recipe is from them. Her husband had worked out the proportions of the ingredients. I didn’t even have to worry about researching to create the perfect recipe!
All I had to do was tell him how many people I wanted to feed and viola – he provided the recipe!
Feeding An Army – The Easy Way!
First, I need to explain how this recipe is different than most I’ve featured on this blog.
While most of my recipes are family sized, this is not! In this recipe, I’m providing proportions for 25, 100, or 200 people. For our celebration, we expected around 110 people and 100 ended up attending. (Thankfully we made enough, but we all wanted more!)
Not only is a shrimp boil delicious, it’s deceptively easy to make. Whether you are serving a large crowd or a small gathering, this meal lends itself to minimal work the day of your event.
Most of the work is done beforehand by cutting and chopping the meat and vegetables. You can definitely delegate that work to a trusted child or teenager if you need extra help getting everything done.
After the shrimp boil is cooked, drain the water and empty the contents of the pot onto a table with a plastic tablecloth. Maybe to keep things a bit more civilized, you can place contents into serving containers.
I wanted our shrimp boil to be easy and civilized, so I used large disposable aluminum containers. Then, you can get creative with your sides since this recipe is so versatile. You can serve the shrimp boil alone or add coleslaw, rice, rolls … and it all works!
A Shrimp Boil By Any Other Name… Is Still As Tasty!
Let me just say that this is one way to make a shrimp boil. I really was amazed at all the different varieties there were of this dish. For example, in some places it’s called Frogmore Stew??
There are two kinds of social gatherings in coastal Georgia and South Carolina that revolve around shellfish. One is very much like a Louisiana boil, usually involving shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage, and red potatoes, and sometimes ham, and is considered part of Lowcountry cuisine. Known variously as Frogmore Stew, Beaufort Stew, a Beaufort boil, a Lowcountry boil, or a tidewater boil, they tend to be a bit milder than their Louisiana cousins. For example, it is not unusual for a Lowcountry recipe to call for a mixture of hot and mild boil seasonings, whereas a Louisiana recipe may start with crab boil packets and add large amounts of cayenne pepper. While shrimp are most often used, crabs or crawfish may be included if available. This is also a bit different from a Louisiana boil, which usually involves just one kind of shellfish at a time.
Frogmore is name of a community in the middle of St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Although there are many versions of this dish around, the name Frogmore Stew was coined in the 1960s by Richard Gay, one of the owners of Gay Fish Company, circa 1948, on St. Helena Island. Frogmore Stew became far more well-known after it was featured on the cover of Gourmet Magazine in the 1980s, and is enjoyed by all, with this name, to this day. In 2005, The Travel Channel featured Richard’s brother, Charles Gay, cooking Frogmore Stew in its popular program Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo.
This recipe has such an interesting history!
Why A Shrimp Boil?
My favorite thing about this dish is that it enables families to come together and enjoy each others’ company. It’s one of those meals that encourages people to talk, linger, and socialize. And since we make a LOT of shrimp boil at once, no one rushes conversations due to being worried about the food running out!
In addition to that, I (the cook) don’t have to worry about running back and for to the kitchen as people eat so I get to simply enjoy my guests! No major cooking stress needed!
A Few Notes
Before I explain the recipe, I have a couple of helpful tips:
First, be sure to purchase shrimp that is in the shell and de-veined. Why? When you are boiling the shrimp in a pot of water, it will dry out and not taste as good if you use pre-shelled ones.
Second, if you are cooking in large quantities, make sure you plan ahead with your supplies and time. We used 10-gallon stockpots over propane burners. Obviously, that is a lot more water than people normally boil, so be sure to allow plenty of time. It took us about 30 minutes to get the water to boil.
That’s it! While we had a bunch of fun making and eating our shrimp boil, the sweetest part was celebrating and enjoying the company of our friends and family.
I buy all my herbs, spices and real salt from Wilderness Family Naturals because they are organic, natural and excellent quality.
Southern cooking that feeds an army!
- 7 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's
- 13 lbs red potatoes
- 3 bags baby carrots
- 3 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 bunches celery
- 2 - 3 jalapenos
- 1/2 habanero pepper
- 13 lbs shrimp frozen
- 13 lbs sausage
- 15 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's
- 25 lbs red potatoes
- 5 bags baby carrots
- 3 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 5 bell peppers
- 3 bunches celery
- 5 - 7 jalapenos
- 1 - 2 habanero pepper
- 25 lbs shrimp frozen
- 25 lbs sausage
- 30 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's
- 50 lbs red potatoes
- 10 bags baby carrots
- 5 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 10 bell peppers
- 5 bunches celery
- 15 jalapenos
- 1 - 5 habanero pepper
- 50 lbs shrimp frozen
- 50 lbs sausage
- Wash and cut potatoes into large chunks
- Wash and cut celery and bell peppers into large slices
- Slice jalapenos
Cut sausage into 3/4" - 1" slices
- We cook in batches using the amounts for 25 people. Total cooking time is 60 minutes after the water boils and you begin adding the ingredients.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Place seasoning bags in a mesh bag or cheesecloth.
- Add potatoes and seasoning bags.
- Wait 10 minutes.
- Add carrots, corn, and sausage.
- Wait 10 minutes.
- Add bell peppers, celery, jalapenos and habaneros.
- Let cook 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add the frozen shrimp.
Wait for 5 - 8 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and tender.
- Drain the water and dump the shrimp boil onto a table with a plastic tablecloth or place in serving dish - allow everyone to help themselves!
I use a 10 gallon pot to cook the shrimp boil recipe in and it holds the ingredients for 25 people.
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