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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Low Country Crab Boil

The first time I ever had a Low Country Crab Boil was at the home of a college roommate.  Lori was from Florida and her husband was from Savannah, GA.  I went to their house one evening for dinner and it was cooking outside.  That was about 20 years ago, and it has been a favorite meal of mine ever since.

Nothing could be easier than boiling water right?  That's basically how it starts.  Of course one can use a giant pot with steamer insert and cook it over the stove, but outside is more fun!  Next time I make it, I plan on using my turkey deep fryer since it can hold a lot of food.

I had it this past weekend at a friend's 50th birthday party.  What a perfect summer food.  It was a catered event and they did a great job of cooking everything just right.  The fun part about making this dish, is that you add more of what you like (crab in my case), and less of your least favorite  (sausage).  I think that Old Bay Seasoning hits the mark with it's blend of spices.  I believe they now sell them in bags for those that don't like loose spices on their food, but just the flavoring.  If they don't have it in the bag, they should.  You can also use cheesecloth to tie up the spices.

The main ingredients are red potatoes, corn on the cob, smoked sausage (your choice of spicy or mild), shrimp, crab, and if you're feeling extravagant....lobster!  You want to gently steam, not boil the ingredients.  I usually cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then add the corn and sausage and cook for 5 additional minutes.  Last come the lobster, crab, and shrimp.  I would add the lobster with the corn and sausage to give it a little additional time. Shrimp shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes or so to steam.    It is best to just put everything out on a long table spread with butcher paper (I'm not a newspaper fan) and let everyone eat what they like!!  Being Greek, I like to have melted butter and lemon on my seafood.  The party I attended had melted butter to dip the potatoes, shrimp, crab, etc... but I really missed the extra zing and tang of lemon. It was delicious though even without the lemon. You have to remember that I put lemon on just about everything I eat!

My eldest son is away at college right now, but this is the first meal I'm going to make for him when he comes home!! I can't wait.  Some nice hearty French Bread would be nice to serve with this too.  For dessert, if anyone is still hungry, a simple fruit salad made with the abundance of summer fruit: watermelon, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries finishes off the meal.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar