Sometimes the best things in life come in simple packages or in this case a recipe. This week we dive into one of the best traditions in the local area. Some call this dish a simple stew yet others consider a perfect low country boil a work of culinary art. Many people keep their recipes a closely guarded secret. For those visiting Ocean Isle Beach for the first time, a low country boil on the deck watching the sunset is the epitome of the perfect way to end the day. This week we have everything you need to make a great low country boil.
What’s A Low Country Boil?
The low country boil, also known as Frogmore stew, has an interesting southern history. Its roots began in the Creole-style cuisines of the Gullah. The Gullah are descendants of African slaves who have long populated the Sea Islands and coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and northeastern Florida.
Regional folklore credits the original recipe to Richard Gay of Gay Fish Company, who hailed from Frogmore on St. Helena Island, deep in the heart of the Sea Island Gullah community. This is why the boil is commonly referred to as Frogmore stew. But here in North Carolina you’ll almost always hear it referred to as a low country boil. Interestingly enough the low country boil is not technically a stew. The liquid is drained before the contents of the pot are served, traditionally, on a large open table. Now lets get started making your own low country boil.
Find The Best Local Seafood
You can’t make a great low country boil without fresh ingredients. Luckily Ocean Isle Beach is a mecca for fresh local seafood so finding all the best ingredients will be not only easy but a fun way to explore the are
Tips For Buying Fresh Shrimp
No low country boil is complete without fresh shrimp. There are, however, a few things to know when shopping for fresh shrimp. The first thing you want to do is avoid dry, dull shrimp. Fresh shrimp has high moisture content. To ensure you are buying fresh shrimp, buy whole shrimp with the head still attached. If fresh shrimp isn’t available buy frozen shrimp with the shell still intact. The shell, like the head, helps the shrimp retain its moisture content. Shrimp tend to rot quickly so really fresh or frozen is the only way to go. Think of it this way, if it looks old, then it is old.
A Simple Recipe
Now that you’ve gathered all the freshest local ingredients it is time to start cooking. Don’t worry about having all you need to prepare this recipe. All of our vacation homes have well-appointed kitchens, and you’ll find everything you need to prepare great meals like this for your family and friends.
4 pounds small red potatoes5 quarts water1 (3-ounce) bag of crab boil seasoning, 4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, 2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1½-inch pieces, 6 ears of corn, halved, 4 pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined optional Cocktail sauce
Add potatoes to large pot. Then add 5 quarts water and seasonings.
Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil; cook 5 minutes.
Add the sausage and corn and bring it back to a boil.
Cook for 10 more minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Add shrimp to stockpot. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Serve with cocktail sauce.
Time To Eat
It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and a low country boil. Now eating a low country boil isn’t like any other dining experience. The first thing you need is a good sturdy tablecloth. Next, you need to put down a layer of newspaper and then it is time to dig in and have fun. Peel the shrimp, enjoy the corn and savor the heat of the sausage. In the end, the best feature of a low country boil are the people sitting at the table with you. The real genius of this dish it’s the ability of it to bring everyone together and that, after all, is what a beach vacation is all about.
Your family is going to love your low country boil almost as much as they are going to enjoy your Ocean Isle Beach vacation home. Luckily we have the final ingredient you need and that is a great inventory of vacation homes to choose from. Give us a call today or click the button below to see our inventory of vacation homes.
Give one of our reservationists a call today at 800-727-9222.