During our honeymoon in Durango, Billy and I went to a restaurant/brewery called Steamworks. There, they are known for (well, besides their beer of course) their Cajun seafood boils. When you order one, they come out and put a huge sheet of wax paper on your table and about five minutes later they come with a huge bowl of seafood, sausage, potatoes and corn and dump it all in front of you on the wax paper covered table. No utensils, no plates…just napkins and the 10 fingers that God gave you. This was seriously one of the best meals we had ever eaten. It was a lot of fun to eat, but also amazingly delicious. The Cajun spices flavored all of the seafood and other ingredients but the heat didn’t overpower everything. Immediately after clearing the whole table, we were wondering how we could do this ourselves. Well, we figured it out and man, is it worth it….
You can use any kind of seafood you like, but the “classic” mixture is crab, shrimp and crayfish. We use crab knuckles because they’re cheaper than legs, they have a lot of meat and they’re easier to crack with your hands. We use about a pound of each kind of seafood (it sounds like a lot, but for four people, it’s the perfect amount). Make sure to leave the shells on all of the seafood, but you want to devein the shrimp and clean everything up before boiling. You’ll also need about a pound of small red (or white, whatever you prefer) potatoes, four cobs of corn, and a pound of smoked sausage. You can leave the potatoes whole (they won’t fall apart this way), cut the cobs of corn in half, and cut the sausage into about 1/2 inch pieces. And, that’s it! Very simple.
Zatarain’s makes a Cajun seafood boil spice mixture that comes in a little bag that you just throw in the boiling water. This little package of heaven has everything to need to flavor your seafood boil. Throw it in the water after it comes to a boil and the water will turn a translucent red in a matter of minutes. (By the way, you need enough water to fit all the the ingredients without crowding the pot. That means you need a pretty huge pot.) Throw the potatoes into the pot and let them boil away for about 15 minutes. Next, add the corn and the sausage and continue to boil for another 10 or so minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Now, take the potatoes, corn and sausage out of the pot and put on a big cookie sheet with tinted aluminum foil to keep warm. Throw in all the seafood and let boil for about five minutes, or until everything is cooked through. Add the seafood to the cookie sheet with the veggies and sausage and dig in (literally)!
Be prepared to eat more food than you’ve ever eaten before because it’s nearly impossible to stop if there’s still food in front of you. It may just look like a pile of stuff, but I promise it’s absolutely delicious.