Yes. I can make some amazingly delicious dishes that are considered Charleston specialties. (Shrimp and Grits, anyone?) But often times they’re complicated and take a little more kitchen time than I have. But Lowcountry Boil (pronounced “boul” down here) is a grand tradition for the lowland and coastal areas of South Carolina because all the ingredients are so easy to come by and it’s amazingly simple. This is a one-pot, get-your-hands-dirty kind of dinner that’s just as perfect for a party as it is for a Wednesday night. And the no-frills ingredients means everyone will dig right in.
Here’s what you’ll need.
Fill your biggest pot with water and set it to boil on the stove. Add crab boil to taste. If you like it spicier, then by all means, be liberal with your Old Bay. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the red potatoes into quarters and the sausage into bite-sized pieces. I used andouille sausage in this recipe, but if that’s not available, any smoked sausage (think kielbasa) will work. Also, husk your corn, and break it in half. Don’t bother peeling your shrimp, it’s not necessary. Lowcountry Boil makes dinner a verb, and peeling shrimp is part of that action.
When the water is at a rolling boil, put the potatoes in. Let them boil for about 15 minutes. Next add the sausage. Wait about 5 minutes. Now add the corn, and about 5 minutes later add the shrimp. These will cook quickly, so watch them closely. When they’re bright pink, everything is done. It takes about 2 minutes. Drain the water.
Often, Lowcountry Boil is poured on newspaper over a picnic table, and it’s eaten without plates or silverware. For a party, this is perfect because friends gather around and eat while they socialize. Everyone is relaxed, comfortable, and manners aren’t given a second thought. For the dinner table, though, I put our boil on a tray in the middle of the table with a basket of crusty bread and some cocktail sauce. We did use plates and forks, but I put out paper towels for napkins.