Seafood Boil with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
Updated: May 19, 2019
I have always been a huge fan of seafood boils cause reality television is my life. But i have never actually had one in a restaurant because Hong Kong is just lacking in so many aspects (don't get me started). One of my long term travel goals is to visit New Orleans and sample some real southern food made by non-Korean ASMR youtubers. In the meantime, i was so lucky to have been sent some Old Bay Seasoning from several friends in Canada and the US. Old Bay is not available in HK and i had pleaded for it on Instagram. The outcome was delicious and the jalapeno cheese sauce is the cherry on top.
Boil enough water that you can estimate will cover all the food you are cooking.
When it comes to a boil, add approximately 1 tbsp of salt, the juice of 1 lemon (or vinegar if you don't have lemons), 1 can of cheap beer or a big glass of white wine, 1-2 tbsp of old bay seasoning, 1-2 bay leaves if you have them (I wouldn't go out of my way to buy them), a few cloves of garlic (flattened), 1 onion quartered, a pinch of red chili flakes.
Cook this broth for 10 minutes. It won't taste like a drinkable broth because its so spicy and tangy but not that savory, but taste it to make sure it is reasonably well flavored. Then, set your timer for 25 minutes and cook your items as the clock hits the below times.
Once they are cooked, promptly drain them from the hot water. Assemble the seafood on a platter and you can sprinkle fresh coriander, green onion or some more old bay on top.
25 minutes - Potatoes
15 minutes - Lobster and sausages
10 minutes - Corn and crabs
8 minutes - Clams and crawfish
5 minutes - Octopus, mussels and jumbo prawns
3 minutes - Smaller prawns
In a sauce pan, melt 3 tbsp butter, then add 1/4 diced onion,1 minced garlic clove and 5 minced jalapeno slices and cook till the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add 2 tbsp all purpose flour and mix till it coats all the onion.
Add 1 cup milk and stir until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
Add any kind of grated cheese you like, stir until melted and smooth, around 10 more minutes on low heat. I used sharp cheddar because i like the flavor and i like the sauce to be orange. Add in a teaspoon of the picked jalapeno juice when the sauce is almost done.
When you cook the broth, you really don't have to be precise. To be honest if you buy good fresh seafood, you could just cook it in plain water and it would be really delicious. So if there's an ingredient you can't get your hands on, don't stress!
I found some no hormone grass-fed beef sausage by Teton at Citysuper that tasted really good. Processed meat has always been my guilty pleasure that i only ate once a month or more, but i no longer eat any since my cancer diagnosis. However if you are not ready to eliminate them from your diet, you could consider better options like this Teton brand. I know a lot of people who won't pay a little extra for proven healthy high quality food, but would pay more than a lot for other things like shoes or electronics. In my current state of life, i only buy the best quality produce available for my family. If this means i have to budget my spending, then i am alright with not spending on anything else or looking as fashionable as i once did. It all comes down to your own priorities, but health is wealth!