Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lowcountry Boil

Riley Adams Food Blog Post pic In the first book for my Memphis Barbeque mystery series, restaurant owner Lulu Taylor is a barbeque-cooking queen who keeps a loving but protective eye on her family.

What meal would Lulu pick for an easy family get-together? Well, probably not barbeque, since the family eats the mouth-watering ribs at Aunt Pat’s restaurant every day. No, but she’d probably pick something just as Southern and just as tasty. Maybe Lowcountry boil.

Lowcountry boil first originated in South Carolina’s coastal regions, where it was called ‘Frogmore Stew,’ after the town of Frogmore, SC, (which no longer exists.)

The recipe can be easily adjusted to feed a crowd. In the South, it’s frequently served on newspapers laid out on picnic tables for easy clean-up. Just fold up the newspaper and voila! You’re done. For added authenticity, put a roll of paper towels on the table instead of napkins.

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to fix, about 30 minutes to cook. It makes 12 servings, so be sure to adjust as needed for the crowd you need to feed.

Lowcountry BoilLowcountry Boil

  • 5 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 pounds red potatoes (small ones)
  • 2 pounds kielbasa (or any smoked sausage links….as hot to taste as you prefer) cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 6 ears fresh corn, broken in half
  • 4 pounds unpeeled, fresh shrimp (I like the large ones)
  • Cocktail sauce

Bring water and Old Bay seasoning to a rolling boil in a large pot, covered.

Add potatoes and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes (sometimes less) until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce.

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Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig


  1. yummy! And the newspaper thing is what we do up here in Nova Scotia when we serve a big feed of lobsters. Messy eating at its finest! Does anybody remember which detective always ate 'kitchen sink sandwiches'? I think it might of been Elmore Leonard's but I'm not sure. So messy you had to eat them over the sink. Love it.

  2. (Labanan - kitchen sink eating! LOL!)

    Elizabeth/Riley - I am SO excited to see kielbasa in your recipe. We have a tiny Polish food store near us in Queens and we love their kielbasa - and I always have frozen shrimp in my freezer (don't laugh - we just can't get to the seafood store for fresh all the time, but the grocery store frozen in a bag is great for just dumping in boiling water at the last minute)... Never thought of putting these two together but it makes absolute sense for flavor. I'll be making a 1/2 size version over the weekend, thanks!

    Where coffee and crime are always brewing...

  3. When I saw the title of the recipe, Frogmore Stew, I was wondering if there'd be some, uh, amphibians involved. You see, my son just captured a slew of tadpoles, and...

    Actually, this recipe seems a whole lot better.

  4. Labanan, I think the kitchen sink sandwich detective was Lawrence Sanders character, Edward X. Delaney. I used to get hungry reading about those great concoctions.

    This sounds so easy! I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks, Riley!


  5. Cleo--I always seem to have a lot of kielbasa and never have enough recipes to cook with them! This one eliminates a lot of it, though.

    Alan--My son catches salamanders. Which, somehow, seem grosser than tadpoles. No recipes for those!

    Julie--I'll have to check out the Edward X. Delaney books. Thanks!

  6. Anything with shrimp and kielbasa in the same recipe will thrill my husband. Thanks!

  7. Avery--Hope he likes it!

  8. Now this is a recipe I can get behind. Gonna send this link to Donna.

    At first, like Alan, (neither of us too sharp, especially him, yuck, yuck behind his back.) I, too, thought maybe it might croak at me from the bowl…apparently not.

    Best Regards, Galen
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  9. This looks so good, and it's my kind of recipe: fast, easy, yummy.

  10. Well, darn. I have to stop reading this blog in the morning at work. You guys just make me too hungry, and it's not even 10 AM.

  11. Always looking for a better way to cook shrimp. The kielbasa is a new (to me), yummy twist. Gotta try this.

  12. Riley,
    It's funny, I'm married to a almost 'three centuries in this country' southern guy and no one in that huge family eats ribs. Is Aunt Pat's restaurant serving that fabulous shredded pork BBQ on buns that I kill for when I go South?
    However, Cleo, as a slovic (Ukranian), with both parents' families from the old country--first and second generation--we always got our holiday kielbasa from local makers. You should ask your Polish grocer (if he's the maker) how well it will boil. Homemade tends to be a lot slimmer in size than that stuff you buy in the meat section by Hillshire Farms, and might not boil with other ingredients well. Let us know.

  13. Galen--I know what you mean! My mother told me NOT to call it by its original name,Frogmore, and make sure to label it Lowcountry Boil. Didn't want to scare anyone off!

    Patricia--It's sooo easy. You don't even peel the shrimp.

    Lesa--I know what you mean! I tune into the blog early, too, and then am hungry the rest of the morning.

    Heidi--Hope you like it!

    Patg--Aunt Pat's is going to serve both ribs and shredded BBQ. Something for everyone! :) Thanks for the tip on the kielbasa!