Happy Bastille Day

We spent a very busy weekend with family, celebrating niece Sela’s SIXTH BIRTHDAY. Plenty of pics to come, but I couldn’t let this date go by without posting a French (ok, Cajun/Creole)-inflected dish from Saturday: Shrimp boil seafood salad.

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See, my parents sent me a lovely care package a few weeks ago, and that Zatarain’s had been taunting me every time I opened the pantry, so I decided on a shrimp boil seafood salad, using good gulf shrimp and lump crabmeat liberated from my parents’ freezer when I was home last month. Since Gil and I were the only two eating, I didn’t fire up the crab pot, but kept the whole thing indoors. I boiled water, salt and Zatarain’s seasoning together for a couple of minutes before tossing in 4 small yellow onions and a whole head of garlic to season the water to perfection. Once they were cooked through, I fished them out and added baby red potatoes, then shrimp in the last couple of minutes. I turned off the heat as soon as the shrimp went in, and when they floated to the top, the salad was ready to assemble.

I diced the potatoes along with carrot, avocado and red bell pepper, added some of the boiled garlic, salted capers (soaked in water and chopped) and the seafood, then tossed everything with a gorgeous Creole remoulade from Chef John Folse. Shame I didn’t make more, but there were tacos and cake to look forward to at Sela’s party and it would’ve just put us over the top.

But if you’re looking for something more properly French on this date, you could take a gander at my Paris pix from our seven-month anniversary. What I wouldn’t give to go back…

  1. At a SC beach weekend during college, a friend tossed a spoonful of instant coffee into the water boiling for shrimp, to my surprise. He reassured me that the shrimp would not taste of Folgers but rather taste more shrimp-y – and he was right! It may not compare to the Zatarain’s, but in a pinch you might try it…

  2. Oh, man does that look good. Does it use the liquid crab boil or the powder? I have some of the former, and this is looking like a mighty fine light summer dish…

  3. Hey Cec — I’d be more likely to have any number of other seasonings than instant coffee in the house, but I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

    Jen — I did use the liquid this time around. It just seems to have more oomph than the dry seasoning, though I have a lot of that stuff lying around, too. For 5 quarts of water, I used 8 tablespoons of salt and 4 tablespoons of crab boil. Can’t wait to read about your delicious spin on this!