I have written about my love affair with Charleston before and decided to make some of my favorite Charleston foods to take a stroll back in time. Last week was a big week for us. My husband and I left our children for the first time ever to go my friend’s Charleston wedding. We just walked around and remembered what we love about that gorgeous city. After we left Charleston, we headed back to my mother-in-law’s (who was a saint and watched our children for us) house and I decided to make Lowcountry Boil for her to say thank you. Selfishly, I made Lowcountry Boil because I love it and because she is a picky eater and does in fact like shrimp. It is a meal that encourages conversation because it takes a long time to eat. You are peeling shrimp and chatting and making a mess and you cannot help but have a good time while eating it.
When I lived in the South, I ate shrimp all the time. As much as I love living on the West coast, I really do miss the seafood that comes from the East coast. Yes, we get shrimp and crab, but it just is not the same. I have had many a party where we served Lowcountry Boil. It is a pretty perfect dish to make for a crowd. It is easy to make. You can prep everything ahead of time. It can make enough to serve 2 or to serve 20. All you need is some good beer, crusty garlic bread and some cocktail sauce. This meal is meant to be messy. We eat it outside with the table covered in newspaper.
We used a turkey fryer (in the rain) and cooked it outside but you could just use a very large stock pot and cook it over the stove. I was leafing through the new Crate and Barrel catalog and stumbled across this Lobster Pot. It is the perfect thing to make this in.
This is the amount that I used to serve 4 people with plenty leftover. You can obviously change the amounts to serve the amount of guests you are having.
half of a container Old Bay seasoning
4 lemons halved
2 onion quartered and unpeeled
3 pounds red potatoes
1 package kielbasa sliced into chunks
6 ears corn, halved
2 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp (21/25 count)
Bring the lemons, onions, and Old Bay, and 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
Add the potatoes and let cook for 10 minutes. I check to make sure that they are getting tender. You still have some cooking time, but I get so mad when I undercook my potatoes.
Add the kielbasa.
And the corn. Boil for 10 more minutes.
Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes. They shrimp will be pink.
When the shrimp are cooked, strain the liquid from the pot. Put the Boil into bowls.
And lots of cold beer.