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Weeknight Shrimp Boil

I love a colorful, easy meal. This is that meal! Somehow, I managed to grow up in the South without ever attending a crawfish boil until I was almost 30--but once I'd tasted and seen it, I was hooked. I've adapted this recipe since crawfish isn't available (or time-friendly) all of the time. Truly, what a fun way to incorporate seasonal foods, make them delicious, and have a great experience to boot. This recipe is so simple and so customizable. If you love shrimp, you'll love it. If you don't, keep reading!

Ok, so it's a sheet pan shrimp boil. You may be thinking: "Tori, you can't boil in the oven." And you'd be (pretty much) correct. This is a seafood boil style bake. All you need is a couple of large sheet pans--no huge pot to boil everything in--and you're cooking. Literally.

This meal makes plenty of food for 2-3 people at a meal, and keeps well if you are someone who enjoys (or even intentionally creates) leftovers. You can reheat it in the oven/toaster oven/air fryer the following day, or you can eat it chilled. Up to you!

Shrimp: In addition to being really versatile, shrimp is a great source of protein, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12. For folks who may be pescatarian, this means it's a food that can provide the vitamin B12 that plant foods lack. It might be shellfish (get it?), but I think it's the easiest fish for beginners to cook with. Having said that, you can swap cubed raw chicken, cubed salmon, or even tofu for the shrimp. Just keep in mind that keeping the pieces relatively uniform will help all of your ingredients cook evenly.

Potatoes: Another hugely versatile food, am I right? For this dish, the sky is the limit as far as the type of potato you choose. Traditionally, shrimp/seafood boils are made with red or new potatoes, but again, as long as you cut your potatoes into similar-sized pieces, you're good to go with purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, good old russets, and the like. I really like new potatoes or fingerlings because the skin gets crisp as it bakes and the inside of the potato ends up impossibly creamy. The small potatoes can be a bit more tedious to wash, but soaking them (whole, unpeeled) in a bowl of 1 part vinegar + 3 parts water for ~10 minutes can help loosen dirt and cut down on time spent scrubbing.

Zucchini: This was an addition I made because I like having all of the meal components seasoned with the spice mix, but you are welcome to omit/swap it out! I've learned lots of people really don't care for zucchini. My personal opinion? If you have an "ick" reaction to the idea of zucchini but have never tried it roasted, you might consider it. It takes on a texture and flavor that is so wildly different from the boiled zucchini many of us had as kids. If you want to include your veggies as you roast, try broccoli, green beans, or Brussels sprouts. If you don't, a simple tossed green salad or tomato and cucumber salad would be such a great complement.

Garlic: Not a new ingredient to most of us, but one that can be a nuisance when you have a wooden cutting board. I learned a little tip I want to share with you in hopes it makes you life a little easier and your cutting board a little less fragrant. Sprinkle Kosher salt onto your cutting board, then use the cut side of a lemon half to "scrub" the salt around the cutting board. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe clean with a damp paper towel.

Sheet Pan Shrimp "Boil"

Makes 2-4 servings

1 pound baby yellow potatoes

3 ears corn, shucked

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

8 cloves garlic, minced or crushed with a garlic press

2 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning (or more to taste)

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen)

1 (12-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced

1 lemon, cut into wedges

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F

  2. If using frozen shrimp, place in a colander under running cool water until thawed.

  3. Spray your baking sheets with cooking spray of your choice or line with parchment paper.

  4. Place cleaned potatoes in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add a small handful of kosher salt to infuse the potatoes with a bit more flavor. Add the corn. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and drain in a colander.

  5. As the potatoes and corn are cooling, melt butter in a heatproof liquid measuring cup (such as Pyrex). Heat in the microwave in 20-30 second increments until fully melted. Stir in Old Bay and garlic. Set aside.

  6. Wash, dry, and slice zucchini, if using. Do your best to ensure slices are roughly the same thickness as the sausage pieces (see photo).

  7. When the corn is cool enough to handle, use your non-dominant hand (and a kitchen towel if needed) to hold the corn steady, then cut it in half horizontally. Cut each half into 3 pieces.

  8. Spread potatoes, corn pieces, sausage slices, shrimp, and zucchini evenly atop the baking sheets, taking care to leave some space between each piece. This ensures the food will roast, not steam.

  9. Evenly pour the melted butter mixture over both sheet pans of ingredients. Toss with your hands or tongs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Place sheet pans in preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until shrimp is fully cooked (you will see it turn light pink and "curled").

  11. Serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.



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