So, I realize that I now seem like a sleaze bag for making an important commitment and then immediatly falling through. I know that excuses are equally as sleazy, but hear me out: I was at a wedding. Not just any wedding, but a fantastic wedding weekend for my Uncle and new Aunt at the beautiful Palmetto Bluff Resort, which is more or less the perfect culmination of everything that makes the dignified, old school South. It was beautiful. It was drunk. It brought up a lot of inspiration for things in both my visual and written work, because while I was raised north of the Mason-Dixon, both of my parents (and their parents, and their parent’s parents) hail from the deep South, and that makes me a GRIT by association.
However, until those ideas come to fruition, I’ll leave ya’ll with a Low Country Boil recipe. It’s a quick and easy meal that can be modified to suit your tastes. The one I had over the weekend had clams, muscles, shrimp, potatoes, and corn, but the one my dad usually makes for me is mushrooms, corn, onion, and shrimp. A lot of traditional recipes include sausage, but as a pescatarian (and even before) my family has always excluded that part. Of course, all varieties are seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning.
To make a Low Country Boil, simply drag out your Big Pot. Everyone has one. It’s that thing that takes up most of the space in your cabinet, but rarely ever gets used? Yeah, get that out. Get a bunch of water in there – I’d say 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full, depending on how much food you’re cooking – and add a ton of Old Bay Seasoning (to taste). You can always add more later or after the stuff is done, but you want to at least give the water some flavor right away. Heat it up to a boil and drop in your red potatoes (these are a must in any verison you use). They need to cook for at least 15 minutes, maybe more like 20. Everything else you have, add by order of how long they need to be cooked (so corn and onions would be up next, followed five minutes later by mushrooms and shrimp last). Once your shrimps are in, test one to make sure they are done but not getting rubbery. When you get to this point, take the pot off the burner and drain the water from your food. You’re done! I recommend serving with corn bread and peach cobbler for desert.
PRO TIP: I’ve heard that some people add beer to their initial boiling water to add some more flavor and pizzazz, but you can feel free to experiment with that yourself. =)