There's just something about a low country boil that makes me a bit giddy. The steam rising from an old beat up pot, the aroma from the zesty seasoning flavoring the boil and its delicious components, and of course, the grande finale of it all - when that gigantic steel pot is taken into the hands of an able man (or woman) and is tipped over onto a newspaper-lined table. The very second the loads of scrumptious shrimp, sausage, corn, and taters come pouring out, it's as if time freezes for a moment. Everyone stops talking and everyone stares, silently, at the mountainous feast that's a spectacle in its own right.
So when my amazingly generous big brother and brand new sister-in-law offered to throw Chris and I an engagement party, I knew exactly what I wanted. I mean, a warm Florida spring day would only call for one thing. The always awesome low country boil was obviously the only way to go. And for a group of 25 family members and close friends, we couldn't have picked a more perfect spread of fare.
Patrick, being the culinary perfectionist that he is, insisted on finding local, head-on gulf shrimp. He also picked collard greens from his garden which cooked down into a delectable Southern side and scored the help from his beautiful wife, Sloan in making some killer cheddar jalapeño cornbread (a special request from yours truly).
But long before the country boil was ready for devouring, we munched on boiled peanuts and drank beer out of Mason jars. It was an essential Southern shindig that I couldn't have planned and excecuted better myself. Super casual but with details like sunflower bouquets and pictures of me and Chris on a clothesline, it was everything I hoped for...and more.
If you don't know what a low-country boil is, I kinda feel bad for you. It's gotta be one of the easiest and yet, well-received meals for a large group of hungry people. And truthfully, while I love everything else about the West Coast, I'm afraid I'll never catch sight of that large shrimp and sausage filled pot out here. Silly, silly people. You don't even know what you're missing.
Good thing I've got a Low Country Boil recipe for you right here. Now what are you waiting for? Get yourself a huge pot, outdoor propane burner (or turkey fryer for a smaller shindig), tons of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, and spices! Oh, and you can thank me later. Your friends are gonna love you.
Low Country Boil
What you need:
Giant pot and outdoor propane burner (40-50 quarts) OR
Turkey Fryer Pot (about 25 quarts)
A big newspaper-lined table
Fresh, peel-on shrimp (about 1/3 pound per person)
Kielbasa sausage, cut in 1-2 inch pieces (about 1/4 pound pp)
Fresh ears of yellow corn, cut in halves (1/2 ear pp)
Red new potatoes, skin on (2-3 pp)
Yellow onions, cut in halves (5-10, depending on size of boil)
lemons, cut in halves (3-6, depending on size of boil)
Louisiana style seafood boil seasoning of your choice (3 teaspoons per quart of water)
How you Do It:
1) Fill pot with just enough water to cover all of the ingredients.
2) Add the seafood boil seasoning and then bring to a rapid boil. Taste test and then add more seasoning if you'd like it more spicy.
3) When water is boiling, add the potatoes, onions, and lemons. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Then add the sausage. Cook for another 10 minutes.
4) Add corn and cook for 10 minutes. Then, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
5) Drain and serve on the newspaper-lined table.