Low Country Boil

It is summer time, and what better to do that have a large group of friends gather together in the mountains, for food and wine?  Normally we would have everyone over for a barbecue, and everyone bring some appetizers or side dishes. This time, we decided to something completely different… a low-country boil.

Why a low country boil?  Cleanup is minimal if you skip plates and serve on paper-covered tables. The recipe is simple, and most of the time is spent boiling, not prepping, so you can enjoy time with a large group of friends, while it all cooks. The entire cooking time took just over an hour. Serving is simple too, just drain the boil and pile high where everyone can dig in. Peel, crack, eat and have fun.

The low-country boil is simply a combination of potatoes, corn, onion, sausage and seafood (stick to shrimp, crab, lobster, or crayfish). The best thing is that is serves a large crowd, and in our case, everyone brought their own seafood to add to the pot. Two of us supplied the veggies and sausages, and everyone brought their favorite wine. ..and there was plenty of wine!

Try this recipe for a flavorful, memorable experience.

 Start with a large 10 gallon, stainless steel pot with a strainer. Put this over a large propane burner. Start by adding 12 cans of beer (your favorite), then fill the pot about half way with water, and start boiling. We added 3 bags of Old Bay crab boil, 6 lemons (halved) and 6 onions (quartered). Next, you can add whatever spices you like. This evening, we added 1 cup (more or less) of Cajun spice, ½ cup crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and “other spices”.

When everything came to a boil, we added about 10 pounds of fingerling potatoes. Shortly after that, we added the sausage. This evening, we used real Andouille sausage, along with Kielbasa and a small amount of hot links (the hot links can really add a lot of heat, so watch how many you use). The Andouille adds a really nice, smoky taste to the boil.

Once the potatoes began to get soft, we added the corn (take the cob, and cut into bite size pieces). After about five minutes, we added the shrimp and crab, and then turned off the heat. Once they were pink, we lifted the strainer out of the pot, and dumped the entire boil onto a paper covered table.

A simple mix of mayonnaise and spicy cocktail sauce was our “remoulade”. This worked great with all the stuff poured out on the table, and worked particularly well with the fingerling potatoes and shrimp. Yummm!

The wine of choice, for the night was Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, but we also had some nice Gamay, and cool region Pinot Noirs. We even broke out a magnum of fruity Zinfandel.

The evening ended with small pecan hand pies, served with Rancho de Philo Cream Sherry.

I hope you will be inspired to give the Low country boil a try. Thanks to my friends Marty and Stan for guiding us in this gathering. We had been talking about doing this for a while, and we finally did it. Maybe you will too.

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