Cajun-style shrimp boil is a staple dish at many restaurants in Louisiana.
However, its a recipe that can be difficult to get right, particularly when it comes to how many potatoes you use.
The number of potatoes you boil can vary greatly depending on the variety of seafood, how often you cook the fish and how much you cook it.
The best way to determine how many to boil is to try to find out what kind of seafood you’re going to cook it with, says Michael Tashkin, a Louisiana chef.
When cooking with shrimp, for example, Tashlin recommends cooking with three or four medium-sized pieces of shrimp for the maximum number of boilings.
“You’re going back and forth between using a larger amount and smaller amount of potatoes,” Tashkins says.
“If you’re cooking with two or three medium-size shrimp, you can go with four medium sized shrimp.
The trick is to get your shrimp cooked in the right ratio.”
In other words, boil the shrimp slowly.
“The more shrimp you cook, the more the potatoes will boil,” Tishkin says.
In order to get the potatoes to cook evenly, it’s best to start the boil before you put them in the oven.
“For shrimp, if you have one medium shrimp, start it when it’s still a little bit pink, but then if it gets really hot, start boiling it as soon as it gets warm,” Tushkin says, adding that the longer the shrimp is left in the pan, the less time the potatoes have to overcook.
If you’re using shrimp and shrimp-based entrees, Tushkins says you should use a larger portion of shrimp than the one he recommends.
“It’s important to cook shrimp well to get all the flavors and textures,” he says.
When it comes time to serve the potatoes, Tishkins recommends letting the potatoes sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using them in any recipes.
“I like to use it as a foil to put the potatoes in,” Tshkin says of his method.
“So you’re giving the potatoes a chance to cool down before you cook them.”
For shrimp, Tshins says to use a lighter amount of shrimp.
“We recommend one- to two-ounce portions of shrimp,” he adds.
“And you can always use a few tablespoons to add flavor.”
In addition to using larger quantities of shrimp, using more potatoes is another way to make the recipe less time-consuming.
Tashin recommends using the same amount of butter as the shrimp and butter, as well as a few extra tablespoons of sugar to sweeten the dish.
The shrimp should be finished when the potatoes are soft, but if the potatoes become soft and overcooked, Treshkins says to let them sit for a minute or two.
He adds that the potatoes should be eaten immediately after they’ve cooled, but Tashins also suggests putting the potatoes back in the freezer to allow them to thaw before serving.
“Make sure to use fresh shrimp when cooking them,” Tatchkin says when asked if he would use shrimp- and shrimp mixture in place of shrimp- or shrimp-water.
“When I cook with shrimp and salt water, it adds flavor to the dish.”
In the end, the key is to make sure your shrimp cook evenly.
“Picking the right shrimp is just a matter of taste and what you’re doing,” Teshkin says about selecting the right seafood.
“A lot of people go for the lighter shrimp because they think it’ll make the dish extra flavorful.”
To prepare the dish for your next meal, Tashi says it’s a good idea to make a few adjustments to the recipe, such as changing the type of fish you’re making it with or the amount of water used.
“In this case, you want to use three to four medium shrimp,” Tashi adds.
In addition, the method of cooking with a larger shrimp, including adding more water, can make it easier to add in a little extra flavor.
“With larger shrimp that’s going to add a little more flavor,” Tasha says.
Tashi also recommends cooking your shrimp in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds, adding salt, and using a potato masher to get it evenly browned.