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Monday, May 25, 2009

Low Country Goodness!!

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's visit to South Carolina on his show No Reservations. He went to some of the best of the best restaurants in Low Country and the food had me practically drooling! I wanted to do shrimp and grits, but of course Virginia, the confused "southern" state doesn't have the real grits. Only instant and quick-cooking and that's just not what you use for real shrimp and grits. I was amazed at how close the food was to a lot of West African dishes! I had no idea how different South Carolina's cuisine was and how varied it was even within that very state. SO, I was really into the Gullah food, too, of course. They made this one dish called Frogmore Stew, also known as Beaufort Stew, that looked delicious!! No frogs, all flavor! It has shrimp, crabs, red potatoes, sausage (I used regular smoked turkey sausage), and corn on the cob, celery, onions, garlic, and a can of beer. It was sooo tasty!! The crab boil seasoning was absorbed into the sausage and made it nice and spicy! Everything blended well and was so flavorful!

Here's the recipe
Frogmore Stew
4.5 quarts of water
1 12 oz bottle of beer
2 lbs of sausage (cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces)
6 ears of fresh corn (cut into thirds or quarters)
4 lbs red potatoes scrubbed then quartered
3 lbs unpeeled shrimp (I prefer jumbo or extra jumbo for the sweeter flavor but we had mixed sizes in ours (extra jumbo, jumbo, and medium), mostly jumbo)
generous 1/4 of Old Bay seasoning
1 head of celery chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 onion diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic smashed

Cover pot filled with water and Old Bay, garlic, onions, and celery until it reaches a rapid boil. Once it reaches a rapid boil, leave uncovered for remainder of time and start by cooking the potatoes for 10 minutes. Then cook the corn and sausage together for 10 minutes. Next, take 2 or 3 minutes to cook shrimp (don't add shrimp until potatoes reach desired tenderness). To eat this boil, simply use a slotted spoon to serve yourself the meat and veggies without the water. Serve with yellow mustard for dipping the sausage and potatoes in (I like my shrimp in it, too). ENJOY!!

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