Ah, how bitter sweet it is. Today marks the end of the summer “season”. Sadly, this summer just did not feel like summer. Barring the handful of 100°+ days, the season was uncannily cool and horrendously wet. The constant rain often precluded my friends and me from enjoying our favorite summer outings, like boating on the Potomac and picnicking at one of the many delightful Virginia vineyards. Being the sunshine and daisies Pollyanna that I am, though, I still found effective ways to enjoy a few summer delights.
For example, instead of driving out an hour or more to a vineyard only to be caught in a torrential downpour huddling under a single shelter, I’d set out a blanket in the common area of my neighborhood to read a book while nibbling on cheese and enjoying a chilled Virginia Viognier. When the storm clouds got too close, all I had to do was gather the few items and re-establish myself on the back porch and enjoy the storm comfortably. On days like that, an awesome summer stew, like this Low Country Boil was the perfect accompaniment.
Also referred to as Frogmore or Beaufort Stew, I first enjoyed this classic southern dish in its native land of coastal South Carolina, also known as “the Low Country”. It goes back to my Marine Corps connections. You’ll find that many Marines with an aviation background (like my dad!), are familiar with this dish seeing as one of its namesakes is Beaufort, which is home to a Marine Air Station…Parris Island is down the road, but I don’t know how much Low Country Boil they let you have in boot camp, lol!
I love Low Country Boil, because it’s just a fun dish and so full of summer flavors. At its core, all you need is shrimp, fresh corn on the cob, crab seasoning, and water. Common additions you’ll find in the dish include sausage and potatoes. Myself, I like to add zucchini just to get a “real” vegetable in the pot. And this dish is so easy! Basically, throw everything in the pot, boil it and serve. Can’t get much simpler than that now can you?
serves about 6
- 8 cups water
- 3-4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 pounds shrimp (unpeeled will add more flavor to broth)
- 1 pound sausage, sliced crosswise into bite size pieces
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound bite size red potatoes
- 2-3 ears of corn, husked and cut into thirds
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch moons
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot (preferably at big stock pot), combine water, Old Bay, onions, and garlic; bring to a boil.
- Add potatoes; boil for 10- 15 until almost tender. (Cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes).
- Add sausage to pot and boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the corn and boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Lastly, add the the shrimp and boil for 3 minutes more or until shrimp turns pink.
- Ladle into bowls, garnish with an additional sprinkling of Old Bay (optional), and serve.
Note: If you didn’t peel the shrimp…be sure it is cool enough to handle before peeling by hand. Burned fingers are no fun!