Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

A number of years ago the Farmer and I took a trip to Myrtle Beach and drove down the coast to Charleston. We fell in love with the area and especially the food. We ordered shrimp and grits in every restaurant that offered it on the menu. We were determined to discover who could claim the title of Best Shrimp and Grits. I don't know if we ever came to a consensus but it didn't matter because we thoroughly enjoyed every version.

On our way down the coast I insisted that the Farmer pull off the main highway to check out McClellanville. Someone had told me not to miss it. There's nothing there but a few homes but it's one of the spots where the shrimp boats dock. If you get there early you can see them heading out toward the ocean. This is one of my favorite photos. It was taken in McClellanville. I call it the town that time forgot.


The live oaks were dripping with moss and the heat was formidable. The air was still and nothing was moving, not even a grasshopper.

This recipe for a Lowcountry Shrimp Boil is adapted from a recipe from Paula Deen's sons. A shrimp boil isn't just about the food, it's about the experience, about having fun and relaxing. You're not a stuffed shirt, are you?

You're going to need a large stock pot. I have one with a colander basket insert so that you can pull the basket up and drain it over the pot.


1 gallon water
2 TBSP. Old Bay Seasoning
2 TBSP. salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 small cloves garlic, minced
12 small new potatoes
1-1/2 lb. Andouille or smoked sausage
6 ears sweet corn, cut each into 3 pieces
3 lbs. medium raw shrimp

Combine water, Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic and tabasco sauce in the large stockpot. Bring mixture to a boil.


While waiting for water to boil cut the sausage into 3/4 inch slices.



We couldn't find small new potatoes so we cut each red potato into 4 pieces.


Rinse the raw shrimp well under cold water.


When the water is boiling add the potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes until almost tender.


Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Add the corn and cook for another 5 minutes.


Add the shrimp and boil for 4 more minutes.

Have someone watch the pot while you prepare the table. Cover the table with a clean, thick bath towel. Cover the entire table with fresh newspaper. Give each person a plate.


When the shrimp is pink and heated through, pull up the strainer basket and carefully carry over to the table.

NOW THE FUN BEGINS. Remember, I needed to know if you were a stuffed shirt. Here's why.....we're going to dump the food onto the middle of the table.


Sit down in front of the steaming mass and start eating! Put what you want on you plate and dig in.


Want more? Just reach forward and grab it. Leave the shrimp shells and corn cobs on the newspaper because after dinner you'll put the four plates into the sink and wrap up the mess and throw it away!

Then you can serve turkey cake. The local food store had these turkey cakes for sale the day after Thanksgiving for only $5.00. It was so cute we just couldn't resist.


After all this you have my permission to go take a nap.

I encourage you to try shrimp boil because it's so easy and so much fun to eat!


Lucy said...

What a fun dinner. I'd love to try it.

Anonymous said...

Every meal should be that easy! And I love that you just wrap it up and throw it all away afterwards.

Heidi said...

I want to do this SO badly! I may go and buy me some Bubba Gump shrimp!!! LOL

Significant Snail said...

My best friend is from New Orleans. Her family comes to visit several times a year. When the season is right we have a crawfish boil..it's wonderful! You're making me hungry...

Laura said...

My dad makes a variation of this. I think he leaves out the sausage and adds king crab legs. Personally, I'd rather have the sausage...those crab legs are just too much trouble! :-)

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That does look like a fun meal! And it's done a lot like a lobster feed with which I am familiar. Would you believe that I only eat lobster in a lobster salad roll with lots of mayo and a lobster just dragged through it? Same with shrimp. I really do need to grow up! (Your daughter is sooo cute! Hubby, too!)

Jenni said...

I'm starting a list of meals to cook while Caleb is home on leave. We have 36 evenings at home minus a few for family gatherings over the holidays. I think I'll put your Lowcountry Shrimp Boil on the list!

Jemm said...

That looks amazing!! I love the turkey cake--very cute.

Bee said...

I'm from SC, not too far from Charleston. We make that a lot only we call it Frogmore Stew (I have no idea why.) It is good.

I'm a shrimp and grits lover, too!

Trish said...

Hey...this looks like soooo much fun! Great post...I bet you enjoyed it SOOOO much!

Ang. said...

My husband's company picnic is always a seafood boil. Imagine crawdads, crab legs and mussels added to the shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn. Amazing!

Dejoni said...

I am definetly trying this...looks so good and I love being a messy eater!

Kitty said...

Hey--we don't even use plates. Just sit around the table and eat off the newspaper. No stuffed shirts here!

Joanna said...

McClellanville! Have you been to Pirate Pete's? My inlaws have a beach house at Myrtle Beach so we've traveled and eaten up and down that coast line.

See Anthony Bourdain at Pete's

Susan said...

What a wonderful, fun dinner. Must try this with a group of friends. Thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

Yummmm! I love a shrimp boil! It is such a fun way to eat delicious food!

Thanks for reminding me! I'm thinking New Year's Eve...

Jerusalem said...

So yummy! One of my favorite things followed by shrimp-n-grits. With cheese of course!

Sabina said...

I love a good shrimp boil!! Yummmm!!


Daniel Bates said...

Great pictures and a great recipe. You drove by the home of the best Shrimp and Grits on your way to take the picture of the Dearhead Oak: T.W. Graham Restaurant. For more information about McClellanville, please visit MyMcClellanville.net