Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas!

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oldfrt
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2003/12/28 17:21:59 (permalink)

Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas!

Need some advice and suggestions for a Fish Boil in our new Turkey Fryer Pot (propane). Never made this before but here is what we were thinking of putting in there. Red potatoes, corn on the cob, maybe some sausage (?), and at the end add shrimp, fish, maybe some crab legs.

Need to get some ideas for the "broth" part also (chicken broth and water?). I have a lot of Old Bay around. Serving about 6 people.

Open for ideas? We are in Denver so access to REALLY fresh fish is limited but can try. I saw the crawfish version here but do not know where I can get any out here, if it all.

Thanks a bunch!

Don
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    RubyRose
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/28 17:25:34 (permalink)
    How about equal parts of chicken broth and beer, about 1/2 cup cider vinegar and a 1/3-1/2 a tin of Old Bay?
    #2
    EliseT
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 04:47:54 (permalink)
    You might be better off with all shellfish, as the fish can break up in the water. Clams and mussels are popular, and look nice, although I prefer the shrimp and crab myself.
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    Lone Star
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 10:17:39 (permalink)
    Do you have Zatarains products available up there? They sell a crab-shrimp boil that are mesh bags containing all the spices. Throw several of those in your water and let it boil to release the spices along with several lemons.

    Are you going to serve in the traditional way by dumping the whole mess on a newspaper covered table?

    Here is a link to the product. I have used this for many, many years:
    http://www.zatarain.com/products/product.php/58/
    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 10:54:51 (permalink)
    I haven't had a fish boil in a long time, but the ones I've enjoyed in the Great Lakes area had nothing but seasoned water, lots of fish (lake trout, whitefish, walleye, steelhead), potatoes, and onions, with plenty of drawn butter.

    Hmm. I'm going to have to have one soon.
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    Bushie
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 11:15:29 (permalink)
    My 2 cents:

    Dittos to what Elise said; stick with shrimp and shellfish. Depending on what's in season, I just use shrimp and/or crawfish.

    Forget the chicken broth, unless you just have a bunch around you need to use. With all the spices you'll use, any possible extra flavor is not worth the cost of chicken broth. Water's all you need to start with.

    Adding some vinegar wouldn't hurt. I always add at least one of the big bottles of Tabasco. Lone Star's advice about Zatarain's and the lemon chunks is good. I like pouring a few beers in there, too. Throw in some salt, too. Basically, just put in whatever spices your little heart desires.

    Use smoked sausage with a good, strong flavor. We have some local brands I like to use, but something like Eckrich works fine. If you have some favorite brands, just go with it. Cut the links into chunks about 2", and quarter your ears of corn.

    This is a really fun meal, and like Lone Star says, best served on a newspaper-covered table (unless it's your formal dining furniture ).
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    oldfrt
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 12:32:25 (permalink)
    Wow, some great ideas, thanks. Getting hungry already. I will look around for Zatarain's to see if the markets carry it. Thanks Lone Star for the idea.

    If it was a tad warmer here we would do the newspaper thing on the picnic table but this is going to be inside dining so I am thinking of just using my large ladle and bowls. As for stock, I have quite a few of the large cans of chicken broth around here from Sam's that I can draw on.

    I also like the thought of just staying with Shrimp and crabs. Any fish would break up fast unless you add it about five minutes before serving. We'll see.

    I remember making steamed blue crabs years ago in Annapolis covered with Old Bay and piling them on the table over butcher paper. Ahh, were they great with cold beer! Used to get them live, a bushel for $14.

    Lot's of good ideas here, apprecite them. Will keep reading all of these over and let everyone know what we eventually end up with but, like poor mans stew (which we have made in the past), you can virtually add a lot of different things to the pot and end up with a great dinner!

    Don


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    Cakes
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 16:09:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I haven't had a fish boil in a long time, but the ones I've enjoyed in the Great Lakes area had nothing but seasoned water, lots of fish (lake trout, whitefish, walleye, steelhead), potatoes, and onions, with plenty of drawn butter.

    Hmm. I'm going to have to have one soon.


    White Gull Inn
    Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin

    Lots and lots of drawn butter. That's what makes it edible.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 16:29:53 (permalink)
    I have never had a fish boil and it sounds really good. To my knowledge, no restaurant around Knoxville does it. I like Bushie's thoughts but I do not think I could add a large bottle of Tabasco. I like it but in moderation. It must be some of that Missouri/Texas taste that gets muted due to all that BBQ.

    Bushie did not use chicken stock but it seems to me that would add some type of body. Maybe it is not needed. Bushie also suggested vinegar? What does that do?

    Someone suggested adding fish to the concoction about five minutes before it is finished. I think I would do that.

    What would happen if you added some okra?

    I think I will try the recipe.

    I guess people suggest serving it on a table with newspaper cause it is messy?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 16:48:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Cakes

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I haven't had a fish boil in a long time, but the ones I've enjoyed in the Great Lakes area had nothing but seasoned water, lots of fish (lake trout, whitefish, walleye, steelhead), potatoes, and onions, with plenty of drawn butter.

    Hmm. I'm going to have to have one soon.


    White Gull Inn
    Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin

    Lots and lots of drawn butter. That's what makes it edible.


    I've never had a commercial fish boil. It's always been at someone's home, or something put on in connection with fishing. But you're right about the drawn butter.
    #10
    Cakes
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 17:53:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    in spite of how easy this sounds to make, i think a cautionary note mat be needed. Don't just toss everything in at once. It takes a different amount of time to cook all that different stuff, and you need to be careful you don't under/over cook stuff. this isn't a walk away from sort of thing. It's a food of love.



    The Door County fish boils are quite a production. They are done outside in big kettles. Potatoes first, then the onions, and then at the end the fish. All are in wire mesh baskets. To finish, they toss about a quart of kerosene on the fire to cause a "boil over". They say this gets rid of the scum on top.

    Like I said before, lots and lots of butter.

    Cakes
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    Bushie
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:06:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I have never had a fish boil and it sounds really good...

    Paul, here's some thoughts on this to try and explain it a little better.

    What I and some of the others are describing would more properly be named a "shrimp boil" or something like that. I think it's somewhat different than Mr. Hoffman's "fish boil". I've never paricipated in one of those, though it sounds great.

    As for the stock, you're not trying to end up with a "soup". The liquid is merely for boiling the "edibles" and imparting some flavor. The liquid will be discarded, and the cooked pieces of food will be served in bowls or on a "newspaper-topped table". (Yes, the food is scooped out directly on the newspapers, and everyone digs in with their hands. )

    I usually don't add vinegar, but I was making reference to RubyRose's suggestion. The vinegar would just add a little "zip", and it is supposed to counter some of the "fishy" taste. (I've always contended, though, that FRESH fish is not "fishy". That strong odor and taste means that your fish ain't fresh!)

    Here's how I do it. As usual, I don't have a "recipe", so I'll be guessing at some quantities.

    I start with about half a pot of water. Bring to a boil and add your spices (refer to suggestions above) and a few lemons halved or quartered. The big bottle of Tabasco really doesn't add near as much heat as you would think, but do whatever sounds good to you.

    These are approximate "per person" quantities. I usually just buy whatever feels right:

    About 1 pound of shrimp
    1/2 pound of smoked sausage, cut in 2" chunks
    1 ear of corn, quartered
    4 new potatoes

    Add the potatoes to the boiling water, bring back to boil and cook for 10 minutes or so. Add corn and sausage, return to boil and cook for 10 minutes or so more. Add shrimp and cook just until it turns nice and pink, maybe 3 minutes.

    Using a slotted scoop or stainer, scoop out the food onto the newspaper (or into serving bowls). Sprinkle some cajun seasoning or Old Bay over the whole mess, then hand out paper plates and napkins! SOOOEY everyone to the trough.
    #12
    oldfrt
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:10:12 (permalink)
    My Turkey cooker, which I will use for this, is always in the yard. This is the way I am going to do it because of the pot size, using Propane, and any "spills" while serving. After it is done you can always bring it in and put it on the stove, if you want to, unless you have a low ceiling. The pot is big! LOL.

    I agree with clothier that this needs to be a "food of love". These are all ingredients that need to be added at their appropriate times. The shell fish, or other fish, cannot be over cooked! We all know that. Also, potatoes will turn into "mush" if you boil them too long.

    My thought, (input?), is to get the liquid going first and let that "mellow" while you are making a Stalini (first one) for maybe a half hour. Then start adding potatoes, veggies, and onions etc. and let that go for another half hour. Pour the next Stalini and add the fish. Let it go for about 20 minutes and slurr "Dinner is on".

    I am going to add some chicken broth. I think the that flavor will add to the taste. As for butter, as Michael suggested, I agree and it will be "on the side" to spoon over the fish and potatoes! Ahhh.

    Sundancer7 - Great addition! Either Okra or some sliced zuchini.

    Vinegar or lemons, same thing eh? Acid. Maybe put some on the side for those that want to squeeze them on the dish with the BUTTER!

    Geeze, I am getting hungry! The next topic will be, "What do you do with the leftover liquid"? That has to be saved for SOMETHING. Any ideas?

    Don




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    lleechef
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:22:34 (permalink)
    Shrimp boil, fish boil, crawfish boil, New England boiled dinner.......they're basically all the same. Potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, then throw in your seafood at the very end. Season with Old Bay and whatever else you like to throw in there. The broth seems to be just a medium for cooking, as the whole lot is usually turned out into bowls or newspaper lined tables.
    We loved to do the New England boiled dinner on the beach after a day of scuba diving for lobsters....in this case, no broth is involved. Dig a hole in the sand, line with rocks, build a fire, throw some seaweed on top, add the lobsters, corn, potatoes, sausage, cover with more seaweed. Drink beer. Wait for all to be cooked then DIG IN!
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:40:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    Shrimp boil, fish boil, crawfish boil, New England boiled dinner.......they're basically all the same. Potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, then throw in your seafood at the very end. Season with Old Bay and whatever else you like to throw in there. The broth seems to be just a medium for cooking, as the whole lot is usually turned out into bowls or newspaper lined tables.
    We loved to do the New England boiled dinner on the beach after a day of scuba diving for lobsters....in this case, no broth is involved. Dig a hole in the sand, line with rocks, build a fire, throw some seaweed on top, add the lobsters, corn, potatoes, sausage, cover with more seaweed. Drink beer. Wait for all to be cooked then DIG IN!


    Gee Whiz lleechef. That sure sounds good. I have never experienced that type of feast. How long does something like that have to cook? I am sure that at least a six pack time is required

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    oldfrt
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:43:56 (permalink)
    llechef, good thought, lobster. Not the fresh ones you get but Sam's has some (Miss the FRESH ones). Can add a couple to the boil in the last few minutes. Sounds great! Gotta look at the budget as this thing is getting expensive but the family is worth it! Good idea. No seaweed here in Denver BTW! LOL. Maybe some "Rocky Mountain Oysters" in lieu of Sausage.

    Don
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    hermitt4d
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:45:33 (permalink)
    Old Bay seasoning would be just fine if you like the taste. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a recipe on the website. McCormick makes it and they also make a seafood boil or shrimp and crab boil mix like Zatarains, I think, as do several other companies.

    Here's a recipe for a simple Shrimp Boil:

    http://www.recipegoldmine.com/fishsea/fishsea247.html

    And a fancy one, including seasonings:

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_24810,00.html

    I've never tried adding artichokes, but it sounds good to me.

    A place up the coast from Corpus, the Boiling Pot in Fulton, I think,
    has a seafood boil to which they add stone crab claws. Depends on what you like (and can get).
    #17
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 18:48:15 (permalink)
    Bushie: Thanks for the explanation of how to eat the boil. I thought you used it all and as you explained, the liquid is discarded and the remainder is put on the table to consume. I can see the use of vinegar although I cannot see the entire bottle of large Tabasco disipating into harmless hotness

    I would really like to try this although it seems to get a bit more complicated as additional post are received.

    I suggested okra earlier and I wonder if a dash of Makers mark would help?????????

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    Bushie
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 19:47:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I suggested okra earlier and I wonder if a dash of Makers mark would help?????????

    Are you talking about a dash of MM to put in you or the boil I personally think a few shots of Maker's Mark (in me) improves just about everything!

    No boiled okra for me. I ADORE okra skaken (not stirred) with cornmeal and spices, then fried in bacon grease like your Mama does, and I like okra pickled. Boiled okra makes me gag.

    Next time you are in Austin and have some extra time, Sundance, I'll have you out and fix a pot.
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    oldfrt
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 20:06:03 (permalink)
    I agree, the MM should be allocated to the cook and not in the broth. "Old age and wisdom, plus a touch of MM or a Stalini, overcomes youth and skill". Just my 2 cents.

    Just a thought, in lieu of Vinegar, how about some white wine? Got a lot in the basement "aging". (like me).

    As for sausage, has anyone tried Andouile (SP?)? Would that work?

    Lovin this topic!

    Don
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 20:19:01 (permalink)
    okra skaken (not stirred)

    Bushie, this ain't a Stalini but it is a possibility in the drink.

    I was in Uglesich's in New Orleans and Mrs. Uglesich put pickled okra in every bloody mary. Prounounced you-gle-sich. Best Bloody Mary I have ever had and also the most expensive. She did a great job.

    Bushie, I will be there and expect your fish boil.

    Thanks,

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #21
    Bushie
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/29 20:37:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by oldfrt


    Just a thought, in lieu of Vinegar, how about some white wine? Got a lot in the basement "aging". (like me).

    As for sausage, has anyone tried Andouile (SP?)? Would that work?

    White wine would work. Andouille would work.

    Sundance, just give me enough notice to start the water boiling...

    Stalini's are great to start this whole process...
    #22
    lleechef
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 01:10:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    Shrimp boil, fish boil, crawfish boil, New England boiled dinner.......they're basically all the same. Potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, then throw in your seafood at the very end. Season with Old Bay and whatever else you like to throw in there. The broth seems to be just a medium for cooking, as the whole lot is usually turned out into bowls or newspaper lined tables.
    We loved to do the New England boiled dinner on the beach after a day of scuba diving for lobsters....in this case, no broth is involved. Dig a hole in the sand, line with rocks, build a fire, throw some seaweed on top, add the lobsters, corn, potatoes, sausage, cover with more seaweed. Drink beer. Wait for all to be cooked then DIG IN!


    Gee Whiz lleechef. That sure sounds good. I have never experienced that type of feast. How long does something like that have to cook? I am sure that at least a six pack time is required

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    1. Go out on the boat, scuba dive for lobsters.
    2. Cull out the eggers and undersized.
    3. Pull into the neareast beach (tough to do in the 50' Hatteras)
    4. Make a pit, build a fire, line with seaweed. Put lobsters, corn, potatoes, sausage in. Cover with seaweed.
    5. Play at least 3 games of volleyball.
    6. Drink some beer or whatever.
    7. Pull the lobs out and chow down with melted butter.
    8. Watch the sun go down. Thank God you're eating well with good friends and sitting on the beach.
    #23
    Bushie
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 09:12:38 (permalink)
    lleechef, you do the COOLEST things. I'm serious.
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    Lone Star
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 09:46:10 (permalink)
    Sundancer, it is really not complicated, but a lot of fun! Just put the water to boil on a propane cooker in the backyard, add your spices and let them boil, then add potatoes and corn first as they take longer to cook, then the seafood.

    It is really a relaxing, casual, and fun way to entertain.

    We are planning a big crawfish boil for my sons graduation this spring.

    Your grandchildren would think it was great fun.

    The last time we had one, I made shrimp, crab and corn chowder the next day out of the leftovers.
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    lleechef
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 12:05:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    llechef, you do the COOLEST things. I'm serious.

    An old-fashioned lobster bake on the beach after an afternoon of diving and being on the water really is COOL! We would each get about a dozen lobsters so if four or five of us were diving.....my God, it was lobster heaven! Then sitting in the warm sand next to the fire and eating, no gorging on the darned things........living well is the best revenge.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 18:25:08 (permalink)
    lleechef: I am not a diver but I was in northern Maine last fall and I had the opportunity to do some scuba with a wet suit. I nailed several lobster by hand. My friend and I took them to the beach where where we had some potatoes, onions, and we grabbed some errant sea weed and dug a hole where we had some burning wood. We had some burlap where we wrapped the veggies and added the lobster at the end. We ain't professionals but it sure was good.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #27
    lleechef
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 19:05:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    lleechef: I am not a diver but I was in northern Maine last fall and I had the opportunity to do some scuba with a wet suit. I nailed several lobster by hand. My friend and I took them to the beach where where we had some potatoes, onions, and we grabbed some errant sea weed and dug a hole where we had some burning wood. We had some burlap where we wrapped the veggies and added the lobster at the end. We ain't professionals but it sure was good.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    Excellent! Doesn't it taste better when you caught them and cooked them right NOW?! As compared to some silly restaurant? Best lobsters I ever had were the ones we caught and cooked on the beach.
    #28
    hermitt4d
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/30 23:31:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by oldfrt

    As for sausage, has anyone tried Andouile (SP?)? Would that work?


    Don



    Andouille would be the standard sausage in a Cajun Crawfish/seafood boil, which is what you're doing if you're using Zatarain's (I prefer Rex's); a substitute for the andouille would be kielbasa. Have you found a good andouille in Houston? Where do you get yours?


    WHOOPS! I got oldfrt and olphart mixed up in this post.....andouille in Houston?...."Nevermind."

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    oldfrt
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    RE: Fish Boil - New Years Day. Need ideas! 2003/12/31 13:06:25 (permalink)
    Well, so far so good! I found the Zatarain's at our local SafeWay store. Picked up few boxes. Ingredients: Mustard Seed, Coriander Seed, Cayenne Pepper, Bay leaves, Dill Seed, Allspice and cloves. Sounds great!

    They say, one bag is good for 4 lbs. of either shrimp, crawfish or 1 lb of crabs. Add the bag to 3 quarts of water, 4 tablespoons of Salt, one lemon quartered. Bring to boil, add crabs for 20 minutes, crawfish for 15, shrimp 2 minutes. Let it sit in the water for 5 minutes and serve.

    Here is the vinegar deal. "Adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water makes crabs easier to pick".

    I have three boxes of this. With the potatoes, onions, sausage, corn, I am going to need them as I am going to need more than 3 quarts of liquid. IDEA (??) Make 2 batches. Cook the things I mentioned first, take them out, add the Zatarains, then the fish, serve?

    What do you think? Could serve in two large bowls, melted butter for the veggie bowl and some Old Bay sprinkled over the fish. ???

    Don
    #30
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