I moved to South Carolina in 1995 when I was a freshman at Clemson University. I remember that football season well. Lots of people and lots of food!
Between you and I, football was one of the reasons I only applied to Division I schools. I wanted to go to school where there was a strong athletic following. It's that whole "sense of community" thing I guess. Coming from a big Irish Catholic family, food, sports, and parties go hand in hand. I can get lost in a crowd, but feel right at home.
I experienced food I had never heard of or tried before like pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, gumbo, and more. I remember walking up to a tailgate spot and thinking these folks knew how to party. Decked out with orange tents, clothing, table settings and either a TV or radio blaring with football on the tailgate of SUVs or trucks. Clemson fans are DIE HARD to say the least. I loved every minute. The food was the same way. Everyone had their favorite and their own special recipe.
This was the first time I was offered Frogmore Stew. I probably had a weird look on my face, because the host said laughing, "oh, honey, it doesn't have any frogs in it." Breathing a sigh of relief, I dug in to this simple, yet flavorful combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. From that moment on I was hooked!
Frogmore Stew is also called Lowcountry Boil. There are lots of variations, but here is how I've learned to make this southern classic.
serves 4-6 adults
2 celery stalks
1/2 medium onion
old bay seasoning
1.5 lbs petite red potatoes
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1" pieces
4 ears of corn
1 lb 30-45ct shrimp, deveined
Fill a large stockpot half full of water. Rough chop your celery and onion and add to your stockpot. Add a large palmful of old bay seasoning to the water and bring to a boil.
First, add your potatoes. You can leave them whole or slice them in half if they are big. Boil for about 8-10 minutes. Next, add your sausage and boil for another 5 minutes. Then add your corn. I cut my corn in half so there are 8 pieces. Boil the corn for another 3-5 minutes. Last, add your shrimp and boil for another 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink from tail to tip.
Drain the entire pot and serve in a large bowl or on newspaper on the table. Guests can chose what they want on their plate. I like to make sure I have old bay, cocktail sauce, butter, sour cream, and a bowl for shrimp shells on the table as well. And don't forget the paper towels. You'll need lots. It's one of those hands on meals where the measure of enjoyment is how messy you will get!