I love a good summer dinner outside and one without a lot of dishes, is always a winner. We started a new dinner tradition this summer doing a weekly shrimp boil. Have you ever done a shrimp boil? Call it a shrimp boil or call it a Lowcountry Boil, this is a dish that is easy to entertain with, thanks to its one-pot wonder status and the simplicity of serving this dish right on a pile of newspapers in the center of your picnic table.
The history of the Lowcountry Boil is a pretty interesting one. Coastal Living Magazine shares, in this article, that this dish was once called Frogmore Stew and was created by a National Guardsman when he needed to cook a meal for 100 soldiers. Richard Gay, who learned the recipe from his family, had everyone remembering his stew. The dish was later named Frogmore, where Richard was from, by the guards who teased him about home. The postal service eliminated the name Frogmore, which changed this popular dish name to Lowcountry boil.
If you can feed a hundred soldiers, you can feed a few extra friends around your dinner table with this fun dish, which is why I wanted to share it with you today.
You see, I have been on a mission this summer to transform my attitudes about entertaining. This summer I decided to challenge myself and open our home up once a week to family and friends for dinners.
You know people that are natural born entertainers? The kind of people that just love entertaining?
I am just not one of them.
I want to be one of those people, but I often find the stress of preparation and wanting things to be perfect gets in the way of the relaxed kind of hostess I desire to be. By putting myself on a weekly dinner schedule with friends & family though, it has begun to feel more natural to have weekly guests in our home. Not only has it held me accountable to keeping up a bit around the house, it also has created so many beautiful memories with people we love around our dinner table.
My standards of what a perfect meal are also starting to relax a bit. My housekeeping has relaxed a bit in the process too. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s an honest thing.
I began to notice that real friends don’t care what kind of condition your home is in if you share a meal with them.
They just love being with you.
I have also found a little sangria also helps to relax your guest’s standards too. Ahem.
My children have come to really love this dish too. There is just something so fun about grabbing a fork, dipping, and spicing to your heart’s delight. When the humidity gets to be too much, I just nestle this feast on a cookie sheet lined with newspaper on our kitchen table. We also love to throw on a really good record that fits the mood of the evening (this was last night’s selection)!
Since we live in the Midwest, our seafood is pretty limited to frozen offerings. You can certainly build upon this dish depending upon your location and grocery budget.
I hope this dish inspires you to open up your table to others and try something new. As a reluctant hostess, I have found the experience of opening up our table weekly to be really incredible for our entire family!
Shrimp Boil Recipe
Author: Slightly Adpated from Food Network
- 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
- ½ cup Old Bay Seasoning
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 large red onion, quartered
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pound baby red potatoes
- 4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
- 2 pounds large shrimp, (cleaned & shells removed)
- 13 ounces kielbasa (we use a turkey kielbasa in this), cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves. Add the Old Bay, garlic and onion. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.
- Add the shrimp & kielbasa the pot, cover and cook until the shrimp curl and are just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the shrimp and vegetables with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a large bowl. Add the butter and about 1 cup broth to the bowl and toss until the butter is melted. Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a pile of newspapers. Serve with the remaining broth, lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.
Have you ever done a shrimp boil? What makes your dish special? I would love to hear!!