This month’s theme for Progressive Eats is Summer in the South with Lana of Never Enough Thyme leading the team. I thought it would be fun to reinterpret an old-fashioned lobster boil but do it with shrimp instead. These Shrimp Boil Skewers are a delight and can be served as either an appetizer, first course, or main course!
I love the South, especially the culinary heritage that is passed from generation to generation. You cannot sit down to a large family meal without having at least one recipe that is served at every gathering – they are classics and are always incredibly delicious!
Some of my favorite parties are shrimp or crab boils at the beach. Hot sunny days, cool water, and the glorious balmy evenings sitting around the fire. Cooking all the foods in a steaming pot of water, draining them and throwing everything on a paper-covered table, each person grabbing for their favorites. Stories being told, the air filled with laughter. These are some of my fondest memories.
I thought it would be fun to take what is normally the main course and side dishes made in a pot big enough to feed a crowd, and downsize it to turn it into an appetizer or first course.
A typical shrimp boil combines shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, and seafood seasoning blend. The most common and popular seasoning is Old Bay. If you haven’t tried it, it is a blend of tremendous flavors that make nearly everything taste better. I don’t think I would add it to cereal or sweet desserts, but just about anything else, LOL.
At the beach you throw everything in the same pot, in stages, starting with the things that take longest to cook and adding the shrimp right at the end. To make it easier to serve this at a party, I cooked everything in the same pot, but added each ingredient, one at a time, scooping them out and setting them aside as they were done before adding the next ingredient. This lets you cook each one perfectly.
Assemble the skewers and set them on top of a bowl or small serving of the corn, potatoes and tomatoes. Each person will have a great and fun to eat appetizer.
You can leave the shrimp as is and let your guests peel and eat (the traditional way) or peel and devein them before serving for easier eating. If I were serving this at a sit down dinner, I would leave the shells on and make it more fun for my guests to get their hands in the food – everyone loves that! If I were serving this at a stand up cocktail party, I would clean the shrimp so they are much easier to eat with one hand.
If you want to devein the shrimp while keeping the shells on, you want to cut along the outside of the shrimp, open it up and remove the vein that runs the length of the shrimp. That vein is actually the intestinal tract. Here is a video showing the technique to help you out.
For the cocktail sauce, I threw together a quick blend of ketchup, Old Bay, horseradish, onion powder, lemon juice, and black pepper, juggling ingredients until I got the flavor I was looking for. I love cooking spontaneously and coming up with a new treat! You can also use your favorite store-bought sauce to make it faster and easier.
Have fun creating a mini shrimp boil with these Shrimp Boil Skewers for your next party. And be sure to click on the links below to see the whole progressive supper we put together!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Shrimp Boil Skewers:
- Corn on the cob, Old Bay seasoning, salt, chile powder, lemons
- Red skin potatoes, onion, garlic, butter, Andouille sausage
- Raw shrimp, cherry tomatoes, parsley, cocktail sauce
The safest way to remove corn kernels from the cobs is to break the cobs in half and working with one at a time, set them cut side down. You have a flat surface to work on and only have to cut half the length of the cob. Also, the kernels don’t fly as far working this way.
How to make Shrimp Boil Skewers:
- Boil the corn on the cob about 4 minutes, then remove from the water and set aside; when cool enough to handle, break them in half and set them cut-side down, use your knife to remove the kernels from the cobs, and transfer the corn to a skillet
- To the corn water, add the Old Bay, salt, chile powder, and lemon juice and bring back to a boil; add the potatoes, onions, and garlic and cook at a low boil until potatoes are tender, transfer to the skillet with the corn along with the butter and toss to coat everything with the melted butter
- Bring the water back to a boil and add the sausage to heat through, then add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until just pink and opaque; use a strainer to remove everything from the seasoned water then cut the sausages into about 1-1/2 inch-pieces long
- Thread the shrimp and sausage pieces alternating onto skewers and scoop the corn and potatoes into serving bowls; scatter some tomatoes on each bowl and set the skewers across the edges of the bowls and tuck a couple of lemon wedges into each bowl
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with cocktail sauce if desired
If you want to make your own cocktail sauce, you can do like I did … I threw together a quick blend of ketchup, Old Bay, horseradish, onion powder, lemon juice, and black pepper, juggling ingredients until I got the flavor I was looking for. You can also use your favorite store-bought sauce to make it faster and easier.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven
- Long tongs
- Skimmer or spider
- Bamboo skewers
As of this writing, Old Bay is gluten-free. But since manufacturers can and do make changes at any time, always double check the container and ingredient list to be sure it is still safe.
Shrimp Boil Skewers (Gluten-Free)
Traditional shrimp boils have everything cooking at the same time in the same pot. I cooked the ingredients one after the other so that everything could be made ahead of time. You have all of the traditional flavors and can have it all ready before your guests show up.
- 2 quarts water
- 3 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
- 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning, plus more for sprinkling if you want (Old Bay is gluten-free)
- 1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tbsp Ancho chile powder or other mild chile powder (gluten-free)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 8 mini red-skinned potatoes (quarter larger potatoes)
- 1 large onion, trimmed and peeled, cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 to 6 Andouille sausages or your favorite smoked sausage
- 1 to 2 lb unpeeled raw shrimp, deveined
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved or quartered
- Chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, optional
- Seafood cocktail sauce, optional
- Lemon wedges, for garnishing
- In a large saucepan (4-quart or larger), bring the water to a boil. Cook the corn for about 4 minutes, turning as needed to cook all the kernels. Use tongs to remove them from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
- Add the Old Bay, salt, chile powder, and lemon juice and bring the water back to a boil. Add the potatoes, onions, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium to hold a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes depending on their size. When you can easily pierce them all the way to the center with a slender knife, use tongs to remove them and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, cut the corn off the cobs and transfer to a medium saucepan. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into small bite-sized pieces. Add to the corn. Add butter and warm lightly until butter is melted; Toss until the potatoes and corn are evenly coated. Set aside.
- Return the seasoned water to a low boil and add the sausage to the water to heat through. When fully warmed, add the shrimp and cook just until they turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes depending on the size. Immediately remove from the water using a strainer to scoop out the shrimp, sausages and any remaining onions. Drain thoroughly. Cut the sausages into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Discard the garlic and onions.
- While it is best freshly made, everything can be cooked ahead to this point and refrigerated up to a couple of hours. When ready to serve, lightly reheat the vegetables, sausages and shrimp. They can all be served at room temperature, but warm enough so the butter is still melted.
- Thread the shrimp and sausage pieces onto skewers. Spoon the corn and potatoes into serving bowls. Sprinkle the tomatoes over the top of the vegetables and set the skewers across the lips of each bowl. Tuck a couple of lemon wedges into each bowl. Sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley and extra Old Bay if you want, then serve with cocktail sauce if desired.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 271mgSodium: 4354mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 40g
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Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of our virtual monthly supper club, Progressive Eats. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Basil Aioli from Megan Myers, Stetted
Shrimp, Grilled Peach, Quinoa Salad from Jamie Schler, Life’s a Feast
Creamy Cole Slaw from Milisa Armstrong, Miss in the Kitchen
Maque Choux Soup from Ansh Dhar, Spice Roots
Creole Style Smothered Chicken from Lana Taylor Stuart, Never Enough Thyme
Jalapeno Cornbread & How to Freeze It from Julie Grice, Savvy Eats
Bacon and Caramelized Onion Creamed Corn from Barb Kiebel, Creative Culinary
Spicy Succotash from Jenni Field, Pastry Chef Online
Watermelon Lemonade from Lauren Keating, Healthy Delicious
Key Lime Pound Cake from Barbara Schieving, Barbara Bakes
Banana Cream Cheesecake Pie from Liz Weber Berg, That Skinny Chick Can Bake
wow, these looks so delicious and yummy. i just love this. thanks for sharing this article.
Thank you so much, they are a favorite of ours!
Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
What a fun appetizer created from a fun southern traditional shrimp boil! Perfect starter for our progressive dinner.
MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen.com
This is beyond amazing! I know my guys would absolutely love this and I can’t wait to try that Old Bay cocktail sauce.
Lauren @ Healthy Delicious
I love a good shrimp boil. What a fun idea to put everything on skewers!
As I read this I am looking up the Old Bay seasoning online. This dish looks fabulous and what great memories of perfect summers gone by!
These pictures are making me drool so much! I love shrimp and sausage together and I have never been to a boil. Now I can bring the boil to me!
Oh Fabi, you HAVE to do a boil at least once in your life. We should plan on in SoCal!! Hugs!
Wow, this is just screaming “summer meal at the beach” to me! Looks great!
The only things that would have made this better Julie, would have been the smell of the ocean and sand beneath our feet. It was really fun to make!
Barbara | Creative Culinary
This takes me back to those years when I lived in the South and a summer vacation was not real until we had a shrimp boil. Looks absolutely AMAZING Jane.
Thanks for joining me in this event Jane; I’m so looking forward to seeing what everyone does each month!
For anyone on the Eastern Seaboard or Gulf Coast, this is a summertime ritual. But it translates beautifully in California too, LOL! So happy to be part of this amazing team Barbara, thanks for including me!
I love Old Bay but I’ve only had a shrimp boil once. I love the idea of these, especially because they’re scaled down to a family meal size!
This is actually doable at home Megan, but next time I will make sure there are others here to help us eat it 🙂
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
Such a fun idea to but the boil on skewers. I’ve never tried Old Bay before. I need to step it up.
It is a great all-around seasoning blend that you will probably really enjoy Barbara. A little strong right out of the can, when diluted in the simmering water, or added to ketchup to make the sauce, it is just perfect!
Whoa, just pile those babies on my plate! What a marvelous appetizer…I’d be happy to have these skewers as my whole dinner!
Liz – my husband brought home a ton of shrimp for just the two of us so it did turn into our dinner last night. 🙂
I adore Old Bay Seasoning and have used it in almost everything. Great in a Bloody Mary, which reminds me of your lovely cocktail sauce. Sounds like we cook the same way–spontaneously. Great dish, Jane!
Spontaneity is the spice of life, right Jenni? LOL!
Oh, I love how you captured the traditional shrimp boil meal all in one dish! I love the flavors and they do remind me of summer vacations! And such a clever was to make this a one-pot meal! I love it! You have really captured summer in the south!
Thank you Jamie! I would love a bowl of your salad right now!