We all have that go-to meal – the one Grandma used to make, the one we bring to parties, or the one we whipped up using leftovers that turned out to be a keeper. In this series, we’re sharing our community’s go-to recipes, along with the memories and stories that make them worth making again and again.
This party favorite is typically made with corn, potatoes, and sausage, but Partner Success Manager, Doug F. and his family like their shrimp the purist way: freshly caught and perfectly boiled. It’s a tradition that’s been in the family for decades, ever since Doug’s grandpa bought a 40-foot fishing trawler in Gulf Shores, AL. His son, Doug’s dad, inherited his love for shrimp and being out on the water. He even took Doug’s mom out shrimping on one of their first dates!
Growing up, Doug spent weekends with his family at their Gulf Shores beach house where a shrimp boil was always on the menu, prepared using a method Doug’s dad and grandpa perfected. They boil fresh shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, cook for three minutes, and immediately chill them in ice water before peeling.
“All the old shrimp guys, that’s how they do it,” Doug says. He serves the juicy, tender shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce for an extra kick. Washed down with an ice cold margarita – another old family recipe – there’s no better way to cap off a relaxing day on the bayou.
BAYOU SHRIMP BOIL
“My dad’s a structural engineer, so he’s fine-tuned this process with absolute perfection. The more popular way to do a shrimp boil is with corn, sausage, and potatoes. Our way is done pure shrimp because with additional items, you’re going to mess up the timing and the shrimp texture isn’t going to be just right. Getting the timing right is crucial – it’s simple, but hard to pull off. It’s the standard down in Gulf Shores. If you’re a true purist, if you’re down on the bayou shrimping, this is how you do it.”
- 6 pounds large brown shrimp, unpeeled
- 1 packet Old Bay Crab Boil seasoning
- Ice (a lot!)
- 100% pure fresh, ground horseradish
- Prepare a bucket or large bowl of ice before beginning to boil the shrimp. This is key. You want to be able to cool the shrimp as quickly as possible and stop them from cooking.
- Bring 3 gallons of water to a rolling boil in a large cooking pot. Add 1 packet of Old Bay Crab Boil seasoning and let it steep as the water comes up to temperature.
- Once the water is boiling, dump shrimp into the pot. Let them cook for 3 minutes and pull them out. The shrimp should be a healthy pink/orange color. Immediately run shrimp under cold water and cover them with ice. Work the shrimp through the ice and make sure they are cooled quickly. This will cease cooking, and your shrimp should have a flawless texture to them.
- Mix the horseradish and the ketchup together in appropriate portions to your liking. I like my cocktail sauce to about burn my face off.
- Peel, dip, and enjoy!
THE FOSHEE MARGARITA
“We affectionately call this the Foshee Margarita. It is an old recipe and just like the shrimp, very easy to make. Our version uses the ratios of its ancestor, the Sidecar. It’s a simple 1:1:1 recipe that is easy to whip up for yourself or a group of friends. My dad says this cocktail is a glorious waste of tequila because the fresh lime masks the tequila quite nicely. It’s undrinkable to some, and the best margarita in the world to others. There isn’t any middle ground.”
- 1 oz Tequila
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- Optional: salt for the rim
- Shake in ice and pour.
Got a dish that’s won awards, dates back generations, or is just plain tasty? Share the recipe and your favorite way to enjoy it in the comments!