Sick of having the same dinners over and over? Spice it up tonight with the Blackened Shrimp over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes!
It’s brimming with flavor and the perfectly seasoned fluffy mashed potatoes are the best accompaniment to this shrimp.
Growing up in Maryland, Old Bay Seasoning was such a staple in my house. I have the best memories of big family crab feasts on the back porch.
Every summer we would lay down the newspaper, dig out our mallets and crackers, and spend hours fishing for crab meat to dunk in melted butter and Old Bay Seasoning.
I’m always looking for reasons to integrate this awesome seasoning into my meals, as just the smell of it is nostalgic for me. And the taste!! Well, Marylander or not, it’s undeniably delicious.
And if you’ve never tried this seasoning before? Well, this Blackened Shrimp over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes recipe is a great intro to it!
Blackened Shrimp Over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes Tips and Tricks
Prep Your Shrimp
Always peel your shrimp before adding the seasoning. Some restaurants leave the tails on for aesthetic reasons, and it’s nice to have the tails for a shrimp cocktail, so you have something sturdy to hold on to. But here, it’s just one more barrier to diving in to the amazing combo of the shrimp and the mash. I peel them completely, tail and all.
If you want to prepare your shrimp ahead of time. Peel them and throw them in a large freezer bag with the blackening seasoning to marinate. They can sit there for up to 2 days.
If you’re making this dish all at once, just make sure your shrimp is completely covered in seasoning before adding it to your pan.
As far as which shrimp to buy, try to avoid imported shrimp entirely. Imported farmed shrimp is often produced in ways that are detrimental to mangrove forests and emits a high amount of pollutants.
It also has to travel a long way to get to you. The most sustainable way to eat shrimp is by seeking domestic farmed shrimp.
Green tip: Shrimp is a seafood we should enjoy in moderation, as it is not the most sustainable. The best way to source your shrimp is from domestic shrimp farms (avoid imported).
For the Spice Blend
We can’t very well have Blackened Shrimp Over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes without blackening seasoning! In order for your shrimp to be considered “blackened“, they have to be coated in seasoning and fried in hot oil to form a dark crust.
The seasoning used can be comprised of a variety of different spices, but usually includes onion powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
Since we are already using the Old Bay for our mashed potatoes (and because, let’s face it, I’m a huge fan of this stuff), we will use the Old Bay Seasoning as our base to concoct our spice blend.
Start with 2 tablespoons of Old Bay, and mix in 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. This should yield enough seasoning to cover 1/2 pound of shrimp.
Get Your Oil Hot
In order to get that crispy blackened shrimp, it’s important to get your oil hot before adding them to your cast iron skillet. I usually leave it on medium heat for about 2 minutes before adding my shrimp.
Because the shrimp is completely covered in seasoning, it’s hard to tell when they are done. For medium sized shrimp, you should be able to cook them fully with just 2 minutes on each side, if the oil in your skillet is pre-heated.
Peel Your Potatoes With Care
In order to get the smoothest potatoes, make sure you leave no skin on the potatoes, and cut out any bruises or bumps. I use a potato masher to break down the potatoes and then a hand mixer to whip them up. This always gives me that fluffy, velvety texture.
Steer clear of food processors or blenders. This makes your mashed potatoes a texture I can really only describe as gluey, which is not very appetizing.
Keep Things Clean
As with handling any raw meat, make sure you wash your hand after peeling the shrimp and disinfect any surfaces that the shrimp or shells rested on before they were cooked.
Doubling The Recipe
This Blackened Shrimp Over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes recipe, as written, is intended to feed two. You can easily double it to feed your family.
If you end up having extra blackening seasoning, save it! It’s great on firm fish, roasted veggies, and other meat. Just make sure you discard any seasoning that touched the raw shrimp.
Should You Have Leftovers
This meal will last up to 3 days after cooking it covered in the refrigerator. If you only have extra mashed potatoes, those may last up to 5 days.
Making This Dairy Free
Since we are blackening the shrimp in oil (I use coconut oil, but olive oil works, too), all we have to do here is make the mashed potatoes dairy-free.
When making dairy-free mashed potatoes, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk and Earth Balance buttery spread in place of the milk and butter in the recipe below.
Since this Blackened Shrimp over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes has so much flavor from the seasoning, it’s a great recipe to make lighter by cutting back on the butter.
Why You Should Make This Blackened Shrimp Over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes
- It’s got a kick. The spice from that cayenne in the blackening seasoning is just enough to give you a little kick!
- It use the best seasoning. Maybe that’s just my opinion. But I’m confident you’ll agree.
- The textures. The crispy little shrimps over those light and airy mashed potatoes is a winner of a combo.
- It’s filling. Meat and potatoes is always dinner-worthy!