Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Frogmore Stew

     One of our favorite meals here at the Wand house is Frogmore Stew. It is also referred to as Lowcountry Boil or Beaufort Stew. It originated in a small little town named Frogmore (Beaufort County) on St. Helena Island off the South Carolina coast. There are no frogs in this dish (although I have teased that there were at one time or another to each one of my kiddos!). It is easy to make and fun to eat. Most South Carolinians eat this "stew" (which really isn't) dumped out onto a newspaper-covered picnic table. My first experience was at a party where two huge coolers filled with this stuff were carried out by the hosts, and the guests scooped out their servings with a huge ladle. As a Polish girl who grew up on kielbasa, this is a great way to serve it another way. When I find shrimp on sale, this recipe is a great way to "multiply" its impact. I'd LOVE to add more shrimp to this version - but it is a wee bit expensive for us. If you aren't serving as many people or have a shrimper in the family, make the shrimp the star and add more! Some folks also add crab or crawfish to the party as well. I make this with a cornbread cake and serve it with sweetened iced tea.The ingredients I use to serve our family of seven twice are relatively simple:

A five pound bag of red potatoes
3 standard packages of kielbasa
7-8 ears of corn
2 (12 oz.) bags of large raw, frozen or fresh shrimp (peeled or unpeeled)

3 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning

You may also want to have:
cocktail sauce and lemons for the shrimp
butter and salt for the corn and potatoes
mustard for the kielbasa

cornbread muffins or johnny cake (see recipe at the end of this rice dish post)

*I often purchase a couple of extra turkey roasting pans I can wash and reuse for meals like this.  I also love to use this type of container for serving a large salad to my family. It is so much easier to toss and mix items in a large container with more surface area! Also, if you don't have a huge stew pot in which to boil everything together in this dish, you can easily boil the items in separate, smaller pots, and them add them together at the end.

 First, I baked my johnny cake.  It is cooling under the container in which I will serve the stew.  We cool all cake-like products with a cover to keep the moisture from evaporating while it cools.  This makes a much moister cake!  We also do this with dessert cake and cupcakes!

 The cornbread (johnny cake) I just removed from the oven (before I relocated it and covered it) hangs out with a pot of washed and halved red potatoes that are just beginning to boil.

You can use frozen or fresh corn on the cob. I bought this corn fresh when it was on sale. I husked and broke the cobs in half, blanched them for ten minutes, and then froze them for a day like this.
 Boil the potatoes until you are able to barely stick a fork into one of them. Add the corn on the cob and bring to another boil. I usually dump in the corn while it is still frozen. Let it boil for about 20-30 minutes until the corn is done. This is ready for the kielbasa!
I usually add about three tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning at this point. Some folks like a whole lot more than this and some don't like any.
               Three packages of standard kielbasa.  I usually get this brand or Hickory Farms.
                           Cut the sausage into large chunks. I add the sausage to the pot    
                           as soon as the corn is ready.
After the sausage cooks for five minutes, I add the shrimp. This is still frozen, so it will take about 7 minutes. Thawed shrimp won't take as long. When the shrimp turns pink and no longer looks translucent, drain in a large colander and serve! This particular shrimp has "split" easy-to-remove shells. I usually use the kind without shells, but this is what was on sale.

It is best to show pictures of this meal at the beginning rather than the end of the meal. Corn cobs, shrimp shells, and messy fingers aren't too pretty!

                                      And, yes, there is still enough left for dinner tonight!

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
Proverbs 13:14:1


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