Monday, August 6, 2012

Frogmore Stew

Did you get beyond the title?  Are you still with me?  Good!

Disclaimer:  No frogs were harmed in the preparation of this stew!

One of our first party invitations after moving to Charleston, S. C. was to an oyster roast.  Appropriate dress was not notated and we were so new that we didn't know who to ask what to wear, bring etc.  So we showed up clad in a slight step-down from Sunday "best" and without insect repellent (that is a story for another day).  We also were lacking the heavy large glove that every other guest had on their non-dominant hand and an oyster knife for the dominant hand.  When the roasters were opened and the big, succulent oysters were tossed onto tables, we were quickly rescued by the host and guests and tucked into some excellent dining.

When an invitation came to dine on Frogmore stew, we didn't bat an eye even though neither of us had ever tasted frog.  We were, however, relieved to find that no frog popped out of the steaming pot of goodness.  There is a friendly controversy over where Frogmore stew is actually from.  Most agree, however, that it came from the Frogmore community of St. Helena Island just off the coast of Beaufort, S.C.  It was developed out of necessity when food and money were scarce but corn and potatoes were plentiful and shrimp were easily plucked from the sea.  Somewhere along the way, sausage was added.
Today it is on restaurant menus in the low-country of South Carolina and Georgia as well as Louisiana.
Wherever you are, I hope you'll give it a try.  Once the ingredients are assembled, it is quite easy and fast to put on the table.

Frogmore Stew

1 very large pot with two gallons of water brought to a boil
2 Tbsp crab boil seasoning
2 lemons, halved
Redskin potatoes (about three per person) halved
Spicy smoked sausage (andouille if possible), cut into 2-inch pieces (1/4 pound per person)
Fresh corn, broken into halves or thirds (at least 1 ear per person)
Shrimp (1/2 pound per person)

With the water boiling, add the crab seasoning and lemon.
Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes
Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes
Add the corn and boil for three minutes
Add the shrimp and cook another three minutes

Dump all into a big bowl.
Have lots of napkins on hand.

Serve with:
melted butter
sour cream
cocktail sauce