Seafood Boil 101

Call it a crab boil, a shrimp boil, a seafood boil … a lowcountry or low country or Low Country boil … whatever you want to call it is fine because it’s delicious either way. And it’s the perfect mixture of so many awesome things a true “melting pot,” which is why it’s the perfect thing to make on the Fourth of July—even if the holiday has come and gone this year : )

Low Country generally refers to the southern most part of South Carolina, below the Eastern Seaboard Fault Line

And there are no real rules … just make it the way you like it. Prefer crawdads over crab? Great. Use them. Prefer wine to steam the food … then use wine. Me, I like to add clams and mussels because I LOVE them, and I like a mixture of water and beer to steam the seafood. And I don’t add sausage, but a lot of people do. So again, just do what you like … celebrate your freedom to make it how you want and enjoy! Just make sure you have plenty of napkins 🙂

Star Spangled Seafood Boil

3-4 beers OR white wine OR broth OR just more water
10 heads garlic
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 tbs Old Bay seasoning
2 bay leafs
5-6 ears of corn, broken in half OR in thirds depending on size of corn
2 lbs medium-small red potatoes, cut in half
1 cube butter
4-5 lbs crab legs, OR crawdads if you can get them
3-4 lbs shrimp, up to you if you pre-peel them
2-3 lbs clams and mussels
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
4-5 lemons, cut into wedges

Fill stock pot with liquid. Again, I use a combination of 2-3 parts water, 1 part beer. But this isn’t an exact science so don’t stress over the precise measurements. Just make sure you have enough liquid, about half way filled, to properly steam the seafood. IT doesn’t need to cover them, you just want enough in the bottom to get the steam rising. Add garlic, onion, Old Bay, bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil.

Add corn, potatoes and sausage IF you’re using it. Add butter. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add crab, cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp, clams and mussels, cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir up any remaining liquid from the bottom to gently “bathe” the top level ingredients. Cover, and let stand for about 10 minutes.

Best way to serve a seafood boil is outside, on a large table covered with newspaper or brown paper. Just ladle the ingredients onto the paper, sprinkle with parsley, distribute lemon wedges, and let people sit around and dish up. Note, you can increase or decrease or even leave things out you don’t care for. There’s no real rhyme or reason … just do what you like, and enjoy! And don’t forget the napkins ; )

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