Cajun Boiled Shrimp Recipe
Boiled spicy shrimp is a fun and easy way to serve a lot of people a great cajun meal or appetizer that will knock their socks off.
The first and most important ingredient is the shrimp. You will want to get whole, fresh jumbo shrimp, and plenty of it. One adult can polish off a pound of whole uncooked shrimp with ease, so guage your needs accordingly.
You will also need (per one pound of shrimp) a large onion (quartered), a green pepper (cut into strips), four cloves of garlic (cut in half) and plenty of cayenne pepper.
In a large pot, boil one quart of water per pound of shrimp, adding the onions, green peppers garlic and cayenne pepper to taste (typically, the boiling water should have a deep red color like the pepper). Allow these ingredients to boil for at least five minute before adding the shrimp.
Add the shrimp quickly (heads and all) and stir occasionaly to allow them to cook evenly. It is not necessary to cover the pot, but it will allow the water to come back to a boil more quickly.
You will notice the shrimp begining to change to a reddish color. Once this begins, check to see if they are done by removing one and peeling it.
Shrimp will shrink inside the shell while they are cooking, making them very easy to peel when they are finished (the head and shell should come off very easily, except the tail).
Here's the trick. You want to allow the shrimp to remain in the water for a while to absorb the spices, but you don't want them to be overcooked.
When you have decided thay are finished, remove the pot from the heat and pour a layer of ice over the water. This will rapidly reduce the temperature to well below boiling, allowing the shrimp to soak for a time. It will also allow the shrimp to stay warm and moist until it is time to serve. Strain the water and serve with the peppers and onions.
For a true cajun meal, before the shrimp, boil new potatoes and corn-on-the-cob in the shrimp pot. Just like the shrimp, the longer they stay in the pot, the more spice they will absorb. It is not uncommon for the corn to be the spiciest item on the table. While the shrimp are boiling you may cover the potatoes and corn with foil and place them in the oven at a low temperature to keep them warm.
Have fun peeling and eating. AAAAYEEEEEEE!