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- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
What we now know as “Lowcountry Boil” was originally called Frogmore Stew — not because of any amphibian presence, but for the tiny township on St. Helena Island, South Carolina where the first pot was made, supposedly by Mr. Richard Gay of the Gay Fish Company. Old-timers still call it Frogmore Stew, however.
As with any vernacular dish, dozens of local and family variants abound. The key ingredient that makes Lowcountry Boil what it is — a well-blended mélange with a character all its own rather than just a bunch of stuff thrown together in a pot of boiling water — is some type of crab boil seasoning.
You’ll find Zatarain’s seasoning suggested on a lot of websites, but in my experience Old Bay is far more common in the eponymous Lowcountry where the dish originated.
In any case, here’s a simple six-serving Lowcountry Boil recipe to get you started. The only downside to it is that it’s pretty much impossible to make it for just a few people. The dish is intended for large gatherings, whether a football tailgating party on a Saturday or a family afternoon after church on Sunday.
Note the typical ratio of one ear of corn per person and half a pound each of meat and shrimp.
Put the sausage and potato pieces, along with half of the Old Bay, in two gallons of boiling water. When the potatoes are about halfway done, about 15 minutes in, add the corn and boil for about half that time, seven minutes. Add the shrimp and boil for another three minutes, until they just turn pink. Do not overcook the shrimp. Take the pot off the heat and drain; serve immediately.
If you cook the shrimp just right, the oil from the sausage will cause those shells to slip right off.
This is but one of countless recipes. Some cooks add some lemon juice and beer in the water as it’s coming to a boil; others add onion, garlic, and/or green peppers.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition