Low Country Boil

If you love shell fish, you will love this recipe for a low country boil.  I was first introduced to the term about 2 years ago when Barbi moved to Savannah.  Having lived in the upstate for over 40 years, I was not familiar with a low country boil.  You need to have an understanding of the geography of SC to know about such things.  You see, our state is divided into 3 regions:  the upstate (my home), the midlands, and the low country, or the beach.   I love the upstate.  I need the beautiful trees and green grass and lovely flowers and the change of seasons.  The low country is a great place to visit, but I personally, wouldn’t want to live there!  The beach is fine for a few days, but after that, I am ready to leave.   Not so for the rest of my family.  I think that they all could live there year-round.

Anyway, back to the boil….my hubby recently saw a cooking show on TV with a Low Country Boil as the featured dish.  Since he loves seafood, he wanted to give it a try. My boys also enjoy shrimp and were eager to try it.  As you can probably guess, I am not a fan of seafood.  Growing up, I was the odd kid in my family who always ordered chicken when we went out to a seafood restaurant.  I can tolerate some fish, but not shell fish. Don’t know why…just never had a taste for them.

I told the hubby that I would be glad to purchase what he needed to make the boil, but he would have to do the cooking.  He was quite happy to!   The procedure is really quite simple.  Just throw everything into one large pot of boiling water and let it cook until it is done. Yep, that’s about it.

The amounts given here are rather general. Hubby didn’t measure anything, and this makes enough to feed a small army. Cut back if you don’t want a gallon of leftovers!!

3-4 quarts of water

3 lbs. jumbo shrimp, uncooked and in shell

2 lbs. large clams

1 shrimp/clam spice bag

6-8 ears of corn cut into 2-3 inch pieces

3-4 lbs new red potatoes, unpeeled

1 red onion, cut into 8-10 pieces

1 yellow onion, cut into 8-10 pieces

6-7 chili peppers, cut up

3-4 jalapeno peppers, cut up

salt to taste, about 3 tbsp.

2 lemons cut into fourths

1/2 to 1 lb. sausage links, cut into bite-sized pieces

2-3 sticks butter

1 tsp. hot sauce

Bring water to a boil in a large cooking pot. (My man used the pot I normally use for a boiling water bath when I do canning.)  Add everything except the shrimp, clams,  corn, butter, and hot sauce and return water to boiling.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Add the shrimp, clams, and corn and cook just about 7-8 minutes longer.

Serve up in large soup bowls.

In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce.  Use butter sauce for dipping the shrimp and clams.

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Clam Chowder

 

For the last 2 weeks we have had lots and lots of gloomy weather…gray skies, spatterings of rain, cool winds.  We have awakened to rain everyday this week, and today it poured all day long…ALL day long.  It is just about 8:00pm and it is still raining.  The weathermen are saying that we could get an inch of snow tonight before the system finally departs, but unless the temperature drops fast, that isn’t going to happen.

Since we’ve had such dreary weather, I decided to try a new soup today.  I am not a fan of seafood of any kind, but the guys in the house are.  The hubs and oldest son requested clam chowder recently, so I did some searching for a good recipe.  I found several and had a hard time deciding which one to use since I am not familiar with clam chowder at all.  I knew I had to be careful about any additions or substitutions!  Anyway, I ended up combining two recipes.  It was a hit with the guys.  And since I don’t care for clams, I just dished mine up before I added the clams!  Served with warm, freshly baked bread, it was just delicious.

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Adapted from The American Heritage Cookbook

4 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams

1 c. coarsly chopped celery

3 c. diced potatoes

1 c. coarsly chopped carrots

5 slices bacon, fried semi-crispy

3/4 c. butter

3/4 c. flour

1 quart half-and-half

1 tbsp. salt

1/2 ground black pepper

Fry bacon in large skillet.  Set bacon aside and drain fat from the pan. (Keep a thin layer of fat in the pan.)  Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots to the pan. Drain the juice from the clams into the veggies. Set clams aside.  Bring to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cover and let simmer. If necessary, add about 1/2 c. water to make sure potatoes are covered.

While veggies are cooking, melt butter in a large pot.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Heat the half-and-half in microwave.  Add to the flour mixture, whisking continually.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and stir until thick.

Pour vegetables into crockpot; add cream mixture to vegetables and stir to blend well.  Chop bacon into bite-sized pieces and add to soup.  Cover and let simmer on low for 4-5 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Add clams and cook another 30 minutes.