Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carolina Boil and Shag Music

I am so excited to post today's Eats and Beats because it comes from my birthplace state and family home town of South Carolina. This past Saturday the weather was perfect for cooking outside. The sun was shining, the temperature was a cool 70 degrees and there was no humidity. It's as if Poseidon parted the seas and spoke to us saying, "today is a perfect day for seafood". And where there is seafood, there must be Frogmore Stew.

Frogmore stew should be named the state dish of South Carolina; and it is similar to the crawfish boils of Louisiana. This is lowcountry southern cooking at its best. Traditionally eaten with your fingers on a newspaper covered picnic table, this crowd pleaser feeds large groups of family and friends. Frogmore stew has nothing to do with frogs, but in fact is made with ears of yellow corn, red skin potatoes, spicy smoked sausage and shrimp. Yum. Yum.

My favorite parts about Carolina cooking are the memories and senses behind it. I grew up spending summer's at Litchfield Beach, SC, and visiting Charleston and Myrtle Beach. We spent our days scoping the sand for sharks teeth and wading in the ocean (praying to God that we didn't get stung by a jelly fish or bitten by a crab). And at nights we drove over to Murrells Inlet where you can have your pick of any delicious seafood restaurant. But perhaps my favorite memory of these summers is the shag beach music. That's right. Here's your lesson of the day. Shag is not just a British word for sex. It's also a type of dance - almost like a version of swing dancing. In fact, there was a movie called Shag that came out in 1989 and starred Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda and was filmed in Myrtle Beach. We owned it on VHS for years. I'm sure we still have it in a closet somewhere at my parents' house. If you're curious to learn more, there's even a national shag dance championship that takes place in Myrtle Beach every year. Click here to check out the web site.

The recipe I featured today comes from Southern Living and is similar to my family's. My dad cooks our frogmore stew using a turkey fryer; but how many people actually own a turkey fryer? So, I chose this recipe because you can use a large stock pot for the same purpose. One of my favorite beach music songs is "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

Grab a paper towel and dig in to these eats!

Frogmore Stew (makes 12 servings)

5 quarts water
1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning
4 pounds small red potatoes
2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
6 ears fresh corn, halved
4 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
Old Bay Seasoning
Cocktail sauce
Directions: Bring 5 quarts water and 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning to a rolling boil in a large covered stockpot.
Add potatoes; return to a boil, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with Old Bay Seasoning and cocktail sauce.

More eats and beats to come this week. We've got Bryan Adams and a special trip to Dallas, TX!


sophia said...

I've never heard of Frogmore Stew. But it sounds absolutely HEAVENLY. I've also never heard of shag in terms of dance! HAha, the stuff I learn in blogs!

Ashley said...