for the last Sunday supper of the unofficial summer, i wanted to do something seasonally appropriate. i’m feeling like i’ve done so many variations of burgers and grilled chicken lately, i was bored to tears by that idea. we also have had kind of a crazy couple days and i really wanted something i could just throw and a pot and leave alone. and so the lowcountry boil idea was born.
though i’ve eaten variations tons of times, i’ve never actually made this in my own home. this Garden & Gun recipe was kind of a baseline to check myself, but i love the confirmation from chef, Mike Lata, that “The recipe is a forgiving one; freshness and taste trump ingredient specifics and measuring cups.” hallelujah. next time, i will actually plan this one, instead of pulling it together on the fly. and note to self, next time, don’t use the corn that’s been in your freezer for 4 months, you redneck.
i did a side of our standard sautéed zucchini, yellow squash and sweet onions, and the whole thing was really delish! anyhoo . . . starter recipe with my notes in italics below. enjoy and have a happy Labor Day, y’all!
Mike Lata’s Frogmore Stew
½ cup (at least) Old Bay Seasoning (i used about half Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, half Old Bay and an extra tablespoon of cayenne pepper)
16 small new potatoes, about 1-inch diameter, rinsed but not peeled (about ¾ lb.)
½ lb. smoked sausage (kielbasa), cut into 16 ½-inch-thick coins (i forgot to get kielbasa, so i used turkey italian sausage. browned it first, then cut each link into 4 pieces)
2 medium sweet onions, peeled but not trimmed, quartered lengthwise from stem to root
3 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into thirds
16 largest available fresh shrimp, preferably white Carolina shrimp with head on (you may want more depending on size of shrimp — you also may want to go ahead and decapitate and peel these guys if you’re not trying to impress with the presentation because heads, tails and legs are a bitch to deal with when you’re actually eating.)
8 stone crab claws (about 2 lb.) (totally did not have the crabs, but threw in enough shrimp to make up for any seafood deficiency.)
Bring a large stockpot (at least 12-quart) of water (filled 2/3 of the way, about 9 quarts — i used half chicken stock and half water) to a simmer. Add Old Bay and simmer to infuse. (The water should be abundantly seasoned and aromatic.)
Add potatoes, sausage coins, and sweet onions, and bring to a lazy simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Keeping water at a lazy simmer, add corn, and cook until kernels are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and crab claws, and cook until the shrimp becomes pink and white (instead of opaque), about 5 or 6 minutes. Strain solids from cooking liquid, and transfer them to an oversize platter.
Serve with soft butter and olive oil (for potatoes and corn), sea salt, Tabasco, and cocktail sauce. Lemon wedges and chopped hot peppers (like jalapeño) are also sometimes served as accompaniments.