We’re constantly experimenting in Scrumptious Chef’s New Orleans test kitchen. One imagines that our crew will be stooped, wizened and ready to fall over dead from old age before we even consider hanging up our spatulas and calling it a day.

Of course living in the 9th ward also means we could end up getting gunned down in the middle of the street but that’s another story entirely.

Living in the garden of plenty that is Southeast Louisiana affords us plenty opportunities to experiment with seafood. We’re regulars at the Shrimp Lot in Westwego and we constantly prowl around the markets of New Orleans looking for fresh fishes, oysters, crabs and of course shrimp.

Which most recently led us to a wildly radical take on boiled shrimp using our Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker.

Nothing locks in flavor like a pressure cooker which set us to wondering if there was a way we could boil shrimp and get the vessel unlocked before they had turned to either rubber or mush.

Score.

Here’s our recipe for Pressure Cooker Shrimp Boil. We use an 8 quart Kuhn Rikon, it’s the centerpiece of our kitchen and the thought of life without it fills us with a sort of creeping dread. If you don’t have a pressure cooker in your arsenal it’s time to reevaluate your life as a cook.

New Orleans Seasoning Blend

1/4 c. Garlic Powder
1/4 c. Onion Powder
1/4 c. Cayenne pepper
1/4 c. White Pepper
1/4 c. Black Pepper
1/2 c. Salt, kosher

2 each lemons, sliced into discs
1 bulb garlic, chopped

3 lbs shrimp, head on, unshelled (we scored these shrimp from a tiny, Vietnamese market in New Orleans East)

2 lbs mushrooms, we use baby bellas

Method

* Bring 3 quarts water to boil with all above ingredients

* Let boil for 10 minutes

* Add shrimp, immediately place lid on pressure cooker

* When petcock on top of cooker pops up turn burner off

* Allow pressure cooker to cool off, when petcock collapses open vessel and strain shrimp into large colander

Cooking notes:

At this point we like to spread the shrimp across a baking sheet and place in the fridge for 30 minutes but this is just a personal preference. Shrimp taste better when they’re cooled off and even better when they’re completely chilled

Squeeze a lemon over the entire tray of shrimp prior to eating

Shrimp love lemon juice

Play with the recipe a bit if you’re of a mind and add ginger root, fresh horseradish, lemongrass or other seasonings that appeal to you.

Corn on the cob, smoked sausage and new potatoes would also make fine additions to this boil.

The recipe above came out unfathomably delicious. We’ve eaten New Orleans-style boiled shrimp since we were little kids and these stand among the finest we’ve ever sampled. The pressure cooker really “forced” the flavors deep into the shrimp.

They were sublime.

Bon Appetit y’all

There is a discussion on this recipe on Roadfood at http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/A-Recipe-For-Pressure-Cooker-New-Orleans-Shrimp-Boil-m800479.aspx

This is Scrumptious Chef article number 2,515

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