Sunday, May 22, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger - Larry Sweazy!

Texas Shrimp Boil

Seafood isn’t the first thing that usually pops into a person’s mind when they think of Texas food.  Tex-Mex.  Beans.  Steak.  Cowboy food.  All of which are my favorites, and have been thoroughly researched since before I started writing the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series (Berkley).  But there’s nothing more Texan than a shrimp boil if you ask me.  Think of the coastline, the proximity to New Orleans, the bigness of the meal.

The fourth book in the series comes out in October (2011), The Cougar’s Prey, and a good part of that story takes place in Corpus Christi, and on the seashore.  The latest in the series, The Badger’s Revenge, just came out in April.

Shrimp boils are festive, fun, a great meal for a big gathering, or just a two person dinner with leftovers.  We usually cook ours outdoors in a turkey fryer that has a basket and a lid.

If you’re going to cook inside on the stovetop, you’ll need a 12 quart stock pot with a basket and a lid.  Other than that, you just need a good timer, and a hearty appetite.

                  4 quarts water
                  1 12 ounce beer (this is optional, and when I use a beer, I usually use a Texas beer like Shiner Bock)
                  ½ cup of Old Bay seasoning OR a Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil in a Bag (Zatarain’s is a little spicier)—pick one or the other to your taste.  Both are really good.
                  2 tablespoons of salt
                  8 medium size red potatoes
                  2 pounds of smoked sausage, the spicier the better—cut in 2 inch sections
                  2 large onions.  Vidalias are great to use, but white onions work when Vidalias are out of season
                  8 ears of corn, cleaned, cut in half
                  4 pounds of UNPEELED shrimp (21 to 25)—make sure and use unpeeled, because peeled will be mushy

Bring the water, beer, seasoning, and salt to a fast boil  (high heat)—either in the turkey fryer or in the stock pot.  Add potatoes and onions.  Cover.  Cook for 8 minutes.  Add smoked sausage.  Cover.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add corn.  Cover.  Cook for 7 minutes.  Add Shrimp.  Cover.  Cook for 4 minutes. 

Drain liquid, and pour contents on a newspaper-covered table.  Sprinkle with Old Bay or Tony’s Creole Seasoning.

Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

For more about Larry and the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, visit


  1. Mmm! This is a lot like Low Country Boil/Frogmore Stew, which I love! Congratulations on your upcoming release, Larry!

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. I've seen it called Frogmore Stew as well. Anything you call it, it is darn good if you ask me.

  3. Welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Larry! I love this kind of seafood boil when I'm at the beach. One of these days I'm going to have to make one at home. Sounds absolutely delicious!

    ~ Krista

  4. The pictures are from a trip to South Carolina, a wonderful week on the beach. We make this dish at least once a month, and more in the summer.

  5. Thanks for being our guest here today, Larry. Your post is giving me the urge to try this. I've never attempted a shrimp boil, but this sounds great. Fabulous covers, btw!

  6. Thanks for asking me, Julie. I really appreciate it. Boils are great fun. You have to try it.

    I'm really, really happy with all of the covers for the Josiah Wolfe series. They capture the books really well.

    Oh, and I didn't say this in the blog, but even though my books are "westerns," each one has a standalone mystery plot.

  7. Wow! I have never eaten anything like this, but now I can't wait.

    Thanks for introducing me to a new taste treat and congrats on your book!

  8. That's great, Mary Ann, I really turning people onto new things.

  9. Larry, your books seem to be something new that both my husband & I would enjoy.

    I'm formerly from New Orleans, spent the majority of my life now in Texas, and a lot of vacations visiting the whole Gulf Coast, so you know I love seafood! Your boil makes me hungry for some ASAP! (And I use Zatarain's & Tony's in mine, too!)

    Congrats on the upcoming release and thanks for sharing here on MLK.

  10. Hey, Lynn, oh yeah, you'd know a good plate of seafood when you see it. I'll be giving away some of my books for Father's Day in a couple of weeks on my blog. Stop by.

  11. Welcome to the MLK Larry. Yes, here in SC we call it frogmore stew and it is one of my favorites. I will be sure to check out your blog.


  12. Nice to meet you, Babs. Enjoy your frogmore stew!

  13. The recipe looks good - I've always wanted to do a big ol' spread like that, but never have. Someday.

    But what I REALLY like is your choice of character names - my youngest son is named Josiah. :)

  14. Christi, This is an easy recipe to try. You do it once, you'll be hooked.

    A Big Texas hello to another Josiah!