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Boiled Potatoes with Old Bay

My husband has put in a request for boiled potatoes with Old Bay Seasoning for our Thanksgiving meal...in additon to my fabulous buttery mashed potatoes. He wants the potatoes (a medley of fingerlings) to be seasoned and taste like potatoes that come out of crab/shrimp boils. Is there a way to simulate those flavors without having to actually put together all of those ingredients?

Thanks for your help!

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  1. When I make a crawfish boil, I'll use onion and celery as aromatics. Without assembling ALL the ingredients (like corn and the crab), I'd suggest to throw an onion or two into the water, along with Old Bay and celery (or at least celery powder). Bring to a boil for awhile, then add your potatoes. Once almost done, shut heat and let steep to soak up the flavors.

    6 Replies
    1. re: porker

      In addition to the Old Bay and possibly some mirepoix, you could put a bottle of clam juice into your water, or some Better Than Bouillon (comes in 3 bases - lobster, clam, or fish).

        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          Potatoes absorb seasoning better with the flesh exposed - so if not peeled, then at least sliced.

      1. re: porker

        Old bay is pretty high on the celery seed already.

        1. re: chefj

          Looked for the stuff in my local grocer's without success. Dam' shame. We have Zatarain's Shrimp and Crab Boil, though.

      2. I have made this recipe several times - I usually add a little more vinegar and a little more old bay

        1 Reply
        1. re: folprivate

          Sorry, I had asked for tips on how to boil potatoes with Old Bay to mirror seafood boils, rather than potato salad. Thanks, though.

        2. to simulate the seafood bake- I'd leave the onions (or at lest some) cut fairly large. One of the dominant features of a MD seafood bake is onions cooked till their droopy and thick with old bay. porker's & greygarious' suggestions sound right on. I think I'd use shrimp stock over clam juice but that might just be my tastes.

          1. I would boil new poatoes un peeled with Old Bay seasoned water and then sprinkle them with Old Bay after they come out of the water. I had friend who prepared potatoes with Old Bay regularly.

            1. Thanks very much for your ideas. I incorporated them all to make my husband the potatoes he so desired. Dropped the slightly peeled potatoes in the water that included salt, pepper, Old Bay, a corn cob, one onion, and one stalk of celery. Boiled until fork tender. He was thrilled.

              1. There is a very popular family restaurant in the New Orleans area that serves new potatoes boiled in crab boil. The restaurants name is Deanies and it is in Metarie. I can't see any reason you couldn't use fingerlings, hopefully ones with a thin skin.

                You don't need old bay or anything else just crab boil. They are great.

                14 Replies
                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  People that love Old Bay, love Old Bay.
                  And in M.D. it is the most widely used crab "boil" ( they steam their crabs really) seasoning for shrimp and crabs.
                  So I do not think that using another spice mix would satisfy the Old Bay loving Husband.

                  1. re: chefj

                    Yeah, I can see wifey cooking up some potatoes with Zatarains liquid crab boil. Hubby will say eeeesh, maybe time for a divorce! hehe

                    1. re: porker

                      I'm gonna try a little hybrid experiment: boil sliced fingerlings in Zatarain's, along with some onion, corn and celery, and then finish with a healthy sprinkling of Old Bay, which I managed to find.

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Make a batch with just crab boil, no celery or onion added. As strong as crab boil is, I suspect it will be difficult to taste any difference. The major component in crab boil is red pepper.

                        In fact, I thought it would be interesting to compare the ingredients in Old Bay and Zatarain's crab boil so here they are.

                        Old Bay

                        Zatarain's Crab Boil

                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                            Wow I did not realize that Zatarain's was such a chemistry project.

                            1. re: chefj

                              Zatarain's is a chemistry project but Old bay is mostly salt and celery seed.

                              I wanted to make sure I was correct so I looked up the ingredients and nutritional info on McCormick celery salt (the primary ingredient to Old Bay) which is as follows:

                              SALT AND CELERY SEED

                              Serving Size = ΒΌ teaspoon

                              Nutrition Info

                              Calories:0 Fat:0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Protein: 0 g Sodium: 290 mg

                              Carbohydrates: 0 g Fiber: 0 g

                              That's right 290 mg of sodium in 1/4 teaspoon of celery salt, the primary ingredient to Old Bay. I guess I found a new and expensive way to brine pork and poultry.

                              1. re: Hank Hanover

                                Still rather flavor my crabs with salt than polysorbate 80, extracts and artificial flavors.

                                1. re: chefj

                                  In todays age, I think its the crab you gotta worry about more than the preservatives and polysyllables. I love eating crabs... I'm just saying.

                                  1. re: porker

                                    Even so why add more to crab than is already there? and do you think that preservatives and polysyllables add anything positive to the flavor?
                                    I am sure that there are recipes for Louisianian style boil that has "real" ingredients. Even the Zatarain's Original are made with better ingredients.

                                    1. re: chefj

                                      Cost/benefits: does a marginal improvement in flavor justify the extra work (and possibly expense) of whomping up your own crab boil? For some, perhaps; for others, doubtless not.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        You could use the original boil which is made with non chemistry set ingredients with no added work( not that measuring out some spices would be much work).

                                      2. re: chefj

                                        I was just saying is all...
                                        I don't necessarily think adding preservatives or polys will add anything positive. Howsomever, I don't think things should be dismissed simply because they preserve or are deemed non-"real". ;-)

                                        1. re: porker

                                          I did not dismiss it I just expressed my surprise that it is full of crap.
                                          I think that when you are talking about cooking "real" refers to ingredients and flavorings that exist naturally not made in a lab. I would think that most folks would agree and "deem" them non - "real". ( - :

                    2. The spice mix is what you want to mirror, so just use a mirepoix and some Old Bay, then toss in a splash of vinegar with your melted butter, salt and pepper.