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Spicy Low Country Boil

Spicy low country boil

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I remember like it was yesterday the first time I had a low country boil or what some refer to as Frogmore Stew. While serving in the U.S. Marines, I often found myself in Beaufort, South Carolina. There was a hole in the wall joint just outside the base there where I was first introduced to this “stew” (which isn’t a stew really at all) and though skeptical about trying it based on the name, it came to be something I looked forward to every time I was in the area.

This low country boil recipe is inspired by that stew. It’s not the traditional low country boil with large pieces of corn on the cob but the inspiration for this certainly came from that Frogmore Stew I first had so many years ago. I like it a little spicy and that’s apparent with my Creole seasoning and use of Polish sausage in place of the traditional smoked sausage that’s used in this stew. By the way, the second I tasted the Filet Mignon Polish Sausages from Omaha Steaks, I knew I would be doing this recipe.

Why Is It Called Frogmore Stew?

One would think (or at least I did) that with a name like Frogmore Stew, the stew must be made with frog legs. That would make sense but it’s not the case. The name simply comes from the area of the low country the soup originated in. This stew is from a fishing community on St. Helena Island named Frogmore. Incidentally, St. Helena Island is right near Beaufort where I was introduced to the dish.

What Are the Main Ingredients of a Low Country Boil?

There are many versions of this stew that have been spun off over the years. I love this aspect of cooking — taking a dish from your past complete with the great memories created with that dish, putting your own twist on it, and making new memories. Back to the question at hand: what are the main ingredients of a low country boil? Very simply they include shrimp, red potatoes, corn on the cob, and smoked sausage.

I use the same shrimp in this soup that I use in my garlic butter grilled shrimp and my shrimp and fettuccini recipes. I absolutely love the sweetness from these Argentinian Red Shrimp that taste more like lobster than shrimp. Sooooooooo good!

You’ll see versions with clams, crabs, fish, etc. and those are all great as well. The traditional main ingredients though are just those 4 simple ingredients; all readily available in the low country. I encourage readers to try my recipe first and then use it as a foundation. If you love it as is, that’s great! But like most of my recipes, this is meant as a foundation for you to make your own.

Tips for Making a Low Country Boil:

  1. While I usually recommend taking my recipes as a foundation and making them your own, I don’t recommend changing up the Creole seasoning I use. It’s a blend I’ve refined by adjusting ingredients over the years and I absolutely love it.
  2. Try making your own seafood stock for this. It really can’t be any easier, just get yourself a large sealable plastic bag and start saving your shrimp, lobster, clam, and mussel shells. Keep them frozen till you have a full gallon-sized bag of shells. Boil those in 4 cups water, covered over low heat with a little celery and onion for about an hour. Perfect seafood stock that can be frozen till you need it. The difference between this and store-bought stock is night and day.
  3. This is a great summer recipe with fresh okra, but it is also great on a cold winter day. When fresh okra can’t be found, frozen will work just fine.
  4. Take the time to actually grill the corn. The char on the corn from the grill really adds an element of flavor that can’t be produced by simply boiling the corn.
  5. Salt to taste on this recipe. There’s salt in the Creole seasoning but feel free to add more to your liking.
  6. Don’t forget the fresh baguette, it makes the perfect companion for sopping up the broth from this soup.

Spicy low country boil served with bread and greens

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Spicy Low Country Boil

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 20 min | Cooking Time: 45 min

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups seafood stock
2 tbsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp fish sauce
1 large tomato, diced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme
4 ears corn on the cob
3 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1″ squares
1 lb Argentinian red shrimp
4 Filet Mignon Polish Sausages
1.5 cups okra, roughly chopped
1 French baguette, sliced and toasted

Vegetables and spices for spicy low country boil

Spicy Low Country Boil

Step 1: Light grill and set for medium-high two-zone heat while prepping your veggies.

Vegetables chopped for spicy low country boil

Step 2: In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Allow the oil to come to a shimmer before whisking in flour and cooking for 90 seconds until slightly browned.

Step 3: Add onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery to the dutch oven, and cook down for 5-7 minutes. Stir often with a wooden scraper to ensure getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

Sautéing vegetables for spicy low country boil

Step 4: Add in seafood stock, Creole seasoning, fish sauce, diced tomato, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 5: While the soup is simmering, place corn (still in husk) on the grill using indirect heat and put the lid on the grill.

Step 6: Add potatoes to soup, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 7: While potatoes are cooking in the soup, and being careful not to burn yourself, peel the husks back on the corn and grill over direct heat turning often to get an overall char on the corn. Cut corn off the cob and set aside.

Shucked corn for spicy low country boil

Step 8: Add shrimp, sausage, okra, and charred corn to soup. Cover, return heat to medium, and let cook for 10 minutes.

Step 9: Serve with toasted baguette.

Spicy low country boil in a bowl ready to eat

Spicy Low Country Boil Recipe

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Spicy low country boil
Spicy Low Country Boil
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

This delicious meal is inspired by the Frogmore Stew I discovered while visiting South Carolina.

Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded & chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cups seafood stock
  • 2 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 ears corn on the cob
  • 3 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1" squares
  • 1 lb Argentinian red shrimp
  • 4 Filet Mignon Polish Sausages
  • 1.5 cups okra roughly chopped
  • 1 French baguette sliced and toasted
Instructions
  1. Light grill and set for medium high two zone heat while prepping your veggies.

  2. In a dutch oven over medium high heat, add olive oil. Allow oil to come to a shimmer before whisking in flour and cooking for 90 seconds until slightly browned.

  3. Add onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery to a dutch oven and cook down for 5-7 minutes. Stir often with a wooden scrapper to ensure getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

  4. Add in seafood stock, Creole seasoning, fish sauce, diced tomato, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

  5. While soup is simmering, place corn (still in husk) on grill using indirect heat and put lid on grill.

  6. Add potatoes to soup, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

  7. While potatoes are cooking in the soup, and being careful not to burn yourself, peel the husks back on the corn and grill over direct heat turning often to get an overall char on the corn. Cut corn off cob and set aside.

  8. Add shrimp, sausage, okra, and charred corn to soup. Cover, return heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes.

  9. Serve with toasted baguette.