I attended my first low country boil (LCB) over the weekend. Not sure how I’ve lived to this point without doing this, but I guess there are a lot of things I have yet to try. Fortunately my friends have grown accustomed to me whipping out my camera at any given moment and let me document the process.
First, you need a large pot and a heat source. We used a turkey fryer with a built-in strainer and a propane tank. We needed enough food for 6-8 adults, so the turkey fryer was just the right size.
The great thing about the boil is that you can do your prep work hours in advance and keep everything stored in bags and containers until showtime.
The potatoes and the spice mix didn’t need any prep.
You can put whatever you want in the pot — typically a mixture of vegetables, sausages and seafood. Here’s the recipe we followed. As you can see by the condition of the paper and numerous recipe modifications, its been around the family for a while, tested and tweaked throughout the years. (Click the photo for a larger version.)
Once the water has reached a boil, you’ll add the ingredients in phases, depending on how long each takes to cook (the recipe above will tell you when). Tip: Use a timer to keep track of the steps and make sure the water is always boiling. The vegetables go first.
In all, the process takes about 45 minutes. While the pot boiled, we started off with some snacks — a rustic tart with artichokes, radishes, and shallots…
As well as a tomato mozzarella salad from a backyard garden that just keeps going and going.
If you have room outside, the LCB is perfect for enjoying on your patio (best for fall because on warm summer days, the flies will surely go wild). We wrapped the patio table with paper to prepare for what would come.
Oh mama, time to feast! No plates or forks necessary. Napkins are strongly recommended.
What do you drink with a low country boil? Beer! We washed down our meal with some home brews brought by another guest. He made the labels too, a tribute to his son and his pacific northwest heritage.
All six of us couldn’t possibly eat it all.
The remains of shrimp, clams and corn sat in piles.
Clean-up was a breeze — we just wrapped everything up in the paper and stuffed in a trash bag.
And of course all autumnal parties should end with a bonfire.
Low country boil is the ultimate make-ahead/impress-your-friends party food. Never tried it at home? Tis the season.