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Crustacean for All Occasions

A crab and shrimp boil is an easy way to feed a large group of people without overspending. Photo courtesy Flickr/Chrisgent

A crab and shrimp boil is an easy way to feed a large group of people without overspending. Photo courtesy Flickr/Chrisgent

Nothing says summer in Mississippi like seafood, but there are plenty of options for getting your shrimp and crab fix without a hefty price tag. Here are a few simple yet tasty recipes to try out this season.

Zesty Lime, Shrimp and Avocado Salad

This recipe is something that my sister-in-law, Lindsey Jackson, created. This dish is light and refreshing yet has a depth of spicy flavor from the jalapeno and lime juice.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 limes, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound shrimp, boiled, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 jalapeno, died

1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions

Combine all the ingredients and toss gently. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes. The lime juice will keep the avocado from turning brown. The recipe makes six lunch or four dinner servings.

Low Country Boil

A low country boil is one of the best ways to feed a large crowd inexpensively, and it imparts a feeling of fun and community. Try this recipe outside by using a turkey fryer pot with a strainer filled two-thirds full of water.

After the boil is cooked, carefully pull out the strainer and spread the feast on a picnic table covered in butcher's paper. Whether you prepare and eat this inside or outside, you can provide crusty baguettes on which to smear the cooked garlic cloves.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon salt

6 large potatoes, halved

5 large onions, peeled

3 3-ounce packages crab and shrimp boil

12 cloves garlic

5 lemons, halved

1 cup cider vinegar

1 dozen ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed

1 dozen live blue crabs

4 pounds unpeeled fresh shrimp

Fill a 5-gallon stockpot two-thirds of the way with water and bring it to a boil. Add salt, potatoes and onions, and then return to a boil. Cover the stockpot and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the crab and shrimp boil, garlic, lemons, vinegar, corn and crabs to stockpot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add shrimp, and then cover and cook for three to five minutes, or just until pink.

Remove the stockpot from the heat and drain carefully. Arrange the crab, shrimp, corn, onions and potatoes on a large serving platter. Serve with cocktail sauce (recipe below). This recipe makes 12 to 14 servings.

Note: If blue crabs are not available, increase shrimp to five pounds.

Cocktail Sauce:

1-1/4 cups chili sauce

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes hot sauce

Combine all the ingredients and then stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.


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