Monday, August 3, 2015

Bob's Low Country Boil

Probably one of the best family-style meals just has to be a "Low Country Boil." If you have a 30 quart turkey fryer laying around then you are on your way to having everything you need to make a Low Country Boil. My brother Bob lives in Mississippi and has become famous for his seafood boils. To create a Bob's Low Country Boil, depending on where you live you can use just about any local seafood ingredients, but the most common ingredients are:
1 package Zatarain's or Old Bay Crab Boil seasoning
15 quarts water
4 pounds snow crab legs
5 ears corn on the cob, cut in half
2.5 pounds baby red new potatoes, cut in half
Smoked beef sausage, Andouille or Boudin cut into 3 inch pieces.
1.5 pounds sweet onions (Vidalia) onions, peeled and quartered. 
2 pounds shrimp, deveined shell on
A "Boil Master" is in charge of making sure the ingredients go into the pot in the proper sequence and controls the timing of the steps.
Regional variations determine the type of seafood used. If you live in Maine, you could have a lobster boil, if in Maryland a blue crab boil might be in order. However, when in Maryland "crab boil" is not typically used. They will steam the crab in a mixture of water or beer mixed with vinegar. Louisiana boil includes shrimp, crab and crawfish. 
There are a number of side dishes and condiments that may accompany this meal including but not limited to cole slaw, fresh baked rolls, hot sauce, melted butter, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
No matter where you are, a low country boil is an event! This is a chance to bring together family, friends and community!
Fill a stockpot half full of water (about 15 quarts). Add the salt, Zatarain's Crab Boil Seasoning packet and to the water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes to the pot. Allow the water to return to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the onions and sausage. Bring the water back to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the corn, bring the water back to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are done. Add the shrimp, bring the water back to a boil and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove all ingredients with a slotted spoon or drain in a large colander. Line a large table with newspaper or butcher paper. If you want to be clean and proper you can serve your food on a nice platter, but if you want to do it the right way, grab a bucket or a cardboard box and dump your boil right on the table and enjoy the feast!