Low country boil, Friday kudos, wine for your weekend

Recipe alert! A few weeks back, we made semi-spontaneous dinner plans with a couple of friends. After confirming a mutual time and that we would host at our house, I faced the age-old question, “what’s for dinner.” I proposed three options: pot of soup, roasted chicken, or a mystery pin that I had once saved to Pinterest called “low country boil.” Nobody in our text group knew what a low country boil was, so I Googled a recipe and ended up sending this picture…

low country boil

It was immediately decided that we should feast on low country boil.

The hardest part about preparing this pile of a feast is finding a recipe that accommodates the number of people you’re trying to feed! There were only four of us, but the pin I had saved fed between 15-18. It’s definitely the kind of meal that adapts well for a group, and if you were outside and could spread it across a picnic table (or even a large, rectangular folding table) you could easily transform this into a buffet style smorgasbord to feed a crowd.

There were just four of us at our house, and we were planning to eat around our kitchen table, so we need a portion that was a bit more manageable. Hence the “mini-boil” recipe below. You’ll need a large pot like a soup or canning pot for the boil, and newspapers to cover the eating surface. We did not use plates, but did use forks to break apart potatoes, cut into sausages, and dunk the shrimp in AMAZING white wine, butter dunking sauce.

This was a blast of a meal to make and eat, and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re looking to transform an ordinary evening into an interactive, hands on, play with your food kind of dinner party. Will we do it again? No doubt. Maybe even with 12 people next time!

What you’ll need: 

FOR THE BOIL –
1 bottle lager style beer
3 lemons, halved
1 full bulb of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs easy peel shrimp
1 ring andouille sausage
5 small ears of corn
1 lbs red potatoes, halved
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette

FOR THE DUNKING SAUCE –
1 cup salted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

What you do: 

  1. Prepare the boil. Fill a large stock pot between 1/2 and 2/3 with water. Add lager, 2 and 1/2 lemons, 3 tbsp olive oil, and 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning. Peel garlic and add cloves to liquid. Bring to a roiling boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the baguette. Cut angularly into 1/2 inch pieces. Lay piece flat on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a warm oven (300 degrees works well) and toast.
  3. When water is boiling, add potatoes. Let boil 7-10 minutes. As potatoes boil, prepare corn.
  4. Break ears of corn in half. Add to boiling pot. As corn and potatoes continue to boil, prepare sausage.
  5. Cut sausage ring into 2 inch pieces. The sausage will already be cooked, so it won’t need to be in the pot long. When potatoes begin to get soft, add the sausage.
  6. Begin the dunking sauce. Melt 1 cup of butter down in the small saucepan on low-medium heat. Add wine, 1/2 lemon, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Allow to simmer but not smoke or boil.
  7. Add the shrimp to the boil. Allow shrimp to boil until pink and opaque. This will not take long! 2-3 minutes tops! Don’t over cook the shrimp!
  8. When shrimp are cooked, strain the liquid from the pot. It may be helpful to work in smaller, more manageable batches instead of trying to dump out the whole pot!
  9. Cover the table in newspapers, and serve in a pile in the center of the table. Divide dunking sauce into individual bowls and serve toasted baguette on the side.

Bon Appetit!

low country.jpg

Friday kudos to…

The Awesomm group, yep you read that right, somm like wine, who got together to toast our new lot this week the best way a group of winos knows how: by shooting a cork over the property and spilling some champagne in the dirt! It’s like christening a ship!

Kayla for bringing the chips and guac, which is really all you need for a good time

Let’s go Tacos, the semi-new Mexican restaurant in Pine Island where everyone should be eating their street tacos, quesadillas, and super nachos! Delicious.

Wine for your weekend

seven-falls-merlot-750-ml_1.pngHere’s a wine for your weekend fun fact just in time for Halloween. I have it on good authority that the best wine/chocolate pairing is Merlot with regular M&Ms! This coming from a trusted source who tells me they don’t like Merlot generally UNLESS they’re eating M&Ms, so you know it must have some truth behind it. I like Merlot, and I like M&Ms, so I can’t find any reason to disprove or disagree with this theory. Thus, I suggest we all lean into it this October 31st.

To get you started, I’ll recommend Seven Falls Wahluke Slope Merlot. This wine from Washington State is produced in the warmest and driest stretch of the wine making region. The climate and the sandy soil produce fruit rich in bright, bold flavors that translate well into the wines fermented from the harvest. The secret with this wine is to let it breath. It’s oaky, with notes of coffee and chocolate on the nose that initially come across a bit dry and bitter, but fill out nicely as the wine decants. The finish is dry and long with rich flavors of stone fruits and spice. The lingering hints of cocoa are the perfect compliment for those regular M&Ms that you should be popping in between sips!

Cheers!

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