In Summertime South Part I, I spoke of the joys of sitting by a lazy lake, plinking at cans with a pellet gun, blasting the neighborhood with fireworks, walking on the dock, and scattering tidbits for the wildlife that suddenly weren’t so wild when they sensed food. Ducks. Swans. Fish. Turtles.
But, what if you don’t live on a lake, or have a new friend who lives on a lake, or can’t find a new friend because the last time you mentioned a new friend the conversation lapsed into a heartless discussion of division of property and alimony.
Never fear…well, almost never. In the Deep South, everybody knows somebody with a backyard swimming pool and a way to boil water.
Step One: Drift out by the pool, with a bottle/glass/pitcher of something cold to offset the sunshine and renew your perspective on life.
|This is the SOUTH. Almost forgot to mention you need a dog.|
Step Two: Boil enough water to cover a mess of potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp, and crab legs. Add seasoning to the water, along with a sliced lemon or two.
You understand what’s happening here, right? You’re well on your way to a savory, Low Country Boil. It has other names. Frogmore Stew. Shrimp Boil. Have to wonder where the name Frogmore Stew came from. Wonder no longer. Richard Gay, owner of the Gay Fish Company called his dish Frogmore after a small community on St Helena Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. That was circa 1948.
The good news is, there ain’t a lot of rules for Low Country Boil. Add crawfish if you want, or whole blue crabs, or stone crab claws, or oysters.
But, I am partial to Alaskan King Crab legs.
Only one mistake you can make: Adding the seafood too soon. Crab and shrimp and crawfish only need moments in rapidly boiling water. Overcook them and they get tough. Overcook them even more and you lose your pool privileges and somebody else gets to drink your beer.
So here we go on a journey to good eatin’, straight from the coastline of the Deep South:
Smart to use a pot with a lift-out insert. Helps to pull the goodies out. But, if not, no worries. Use a scoop.
Boil the water, with lemons and herbs (perhaps Old Bay Seasoning and a couple of packets of Shrimp and Crab Boil). How much? Suit your taste buds.
Drop in small or chunked potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or so, then add chunks of quartered onions, smoked sausage and ears of corn. How much? How many you cookin’ for?
When the corn is tender (about ten minutes more), add the shrimp and crab legs. Cook for only three to five minutes. When the shrimp turns pink, it’s cooked.
Scoop out the goodies from the broth and spread them on a big platter, or on newspaper. Dig in. Utensils? You kiddin’ me? Pass the paper towels…