Mighty cold here in North Florida this week. It was 23 degrees last night and we are expecting 22 degrees tonight. I guess we can't complain after seeing all the snow up in the Northeast.
When it's cold, I like to cook and keep the kitchen warm and just because it is winter, doesn't mean we don't eat seafood. Yesterday, I made traditional Frogmore Stew. There are no frogs in Frogmore Stew. It's named after a South Carolina island out by Hilton Head, not the hoppers. This low country seafood dish usually contains smoked beef sausage, fresh corn, potatoes, shrimp and or crabs, spices and seafood seasoning. The seasonings and ingredients vary, depending on taste, location, and what's readily available.
In addition to my basic recipe, you can add crabs and small whole onions if you wish. Some people add garlic or a fresh lemon cut in half and squeezed over the pot before you toss it in, rind and all. I love this dish because it is fast and easy and always delicious. You just can't beat Old Bay Seasoning for a tasty blend of spices. Here's my standard recipe and it will serve 10 to 12. Use a bigger pot, more water and seasoning if you add crabs. Cut ingredients in half (as shown) for a smaller group and hope you have some leftovers for the next day.
You will need a large stock pot or covered Dutch kettle for this dish.
Into your large pot, add about 5 quarts hot water and:
* 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning (trust me and do not substitute)
* 4 pounds creamers (small red potatoes, skins on)
* 2 pounds kielbasa sausage cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks
* (you can use any hot smoked beef link sausage but pre-cook it so it is browned or do as I do and use Hillshire Farms Pre-cooked)
* 5 - 6 ears fresh corn, shucked and snapped in half
* 4 pounds large fresh shrimp, headed, but shells on, rinsed well.
* Save, more old Bay Seasoning, cocktail sauce and parsley for garnish
Bring the water to a boil in your large boiler pot.
* Add 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning and boil for a minute.
* Add the potatoes, bring back to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes after the taters start boiling.
* Add the sausage and corn to the pot and bring back up to a boil.
* Cook another 10 minutes and test the potatoes to make sure they are tender.
* Add the unshelled fresh shrimp and cook an additional 3 - 4 minutes until the shrimp turns pink.
Drain well and pour into a large shallow bowl or big ole platter.
Lightly sprinkle all with Old Bay Seasoning and chopped fresh parsley.
Serve with small bowls of spicy cocktail sauce and your fave white wine.
Get wild and have crusty bread slathered in butter, too.
Tastes even better than it looks!