Monday, September 28, 2009

One Pot Wonder: Low Country Boil

Country doesn't get much lower than Georgia's back barrier islands and you won't find a better Low Country Boil than Cap'n Andy's Eagle Island version.

Andy's bankers may know him as owner of Private Islands of Georgia, the organization that offers travelers the unique, your-own-private-island experience. Many guests on Eagle Island, one of those exclusive getaways 15 minutes by boat from the port of Darien, know Andy as a dedicated and talented connoisseur of regional cuisine.

Book an island escape and if you like, Andy will stock your kitchen with the necessary ingredients. If you really want to escape from responsibility, you can order the classic dish done for you by Andy and his crew.

I'm one of those fortunate former guests and prevailed upon him to share.

Private Islands of Georgia Cajun Low Country Boil
Fill a large - and I mean large - pot with water, leaving room to accommodate the food without boiling over.

Add to boiling water:

Private Islands Seasoning Blend
2 sticks of butter                                          1 cup pepper
1/2 cup red pepper                                       1/2 cup seasoning salt
1 cup garlic salt                                            1/2 cup celery salt
10 lemons, halved and juiced                       10 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
Melt butter in large sauce pan on low to medium heat. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a wire whisk. Pour ingredients into melted butter and stir with whisk until well blended.  Pour juice into pan and stir. Add jalapeno slices and stir. Add mixture to boiling water.
Note: You can substitute Old Bay Seasoning if you must.

Now it's time to add the ingredients, beginning with those that require the most cooking time.
16 new potatoes - 2 per person or more (See note below). Rutabagas and sweet potatoes are also good, instead of or in addition to the potatoes.
8 onions peeled - 1 per person or more (see note below)
1 small bag baby carrots
2 packages Hillshire Farm sausage cut into 1-inch slices
4 ears of corn, halved - 1/2 ear per person
4 pounds of shrimp - 1/2-pound per person
Add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Add the carrots, sausage and whole onions, return to boil. Add corn and return to boil. Add shrimp last, cooking until they are pink in color. Do NOT overcook the shrimp.
Strain and serve.

Extras: Cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and plenty of napkins.

Note: Outdoor gas cookers are typically used but a large pot on the range can also work. Adding extra potatoes and onions gives you the makings for great hash browns the next morning.

As you see, if you can boil water, cut up stuff, stir and keep time, you can prepare this regional favorite.

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