Bring the Coast Home with a Low Country Boil

So you want to go to the coast , but it’s not really doable right now?

How about bringing the coast home to you by throwing a southern low country boil?!

This is exactly what Audley & I did last weekend with Jonathan & Madeline. We set the mood, incorporated just a little themed decor & enjoyed a lovely night in.

I just love seafood, so a low country boil is one of my favorite ways to serve it up. Plus it’s so easy to pull together as you can make it as fancy or simple as you like! While dining outside is preferable, you can always bring this taste of the southern coast indoors. The best part of preparing a low country boil is it’s a one pot deal!

Yep, you read that correctly; one pot!

So how did we set up for our low country boil?

First, we hit up the market for fresh, coastal Georgia seafood. I love being able to support our fisherman, and nothing beats the taste of fresh seafood. If you don’t have access to locally sourced seafood you can use frozen, but try to find things that are wild caught; not farmed.

For our seafood pot we used shrimp, crab legs and littleneck clams. Sticking to tradition we also added andouille sausage, small, red potatoes and corn-on-the-cob.

The beauty of a low country boil is there is no set recipe or required ingredients! We’ve enjoyed occasions where crawfish was the main ingredient and I’ve known folks who added scallops or lobster! It’s all so delicious.

After shopping for all the ingredients, we set up a cozy little spot in the backyard. Our yard is a huge hill, so it’s not the most conducive for entertaining, but we still enjoy our time out back.

We lit up the fire pit, set up the Adirondack chairs, laid out a few blankets, decorated the table with what I call coastal Americana vibes, and hit play on our favorite playlist.

Of course a playlist is completely optional, but if you choose to have one, make it something you enjoy. For me it’s the smooth sounds of 70’s and early 80’s soft rock. About 90% of the music came out before I was old enough to establish my musical tastes, but classic Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4, Steely Dan’s Deacon Blues, Atlanta Rhythm Section’s So Into You, or Christopher Cross’s Sailing is hard to beat in 2020!

Once you have the mood set through you decor and music it’s time to boil up your seafood feast! You can do this indoors or out, over a fire or on the stovetop. The key to this dish is the seasonings & properly cooking everything. I’m all about Old Bay Seasoning or even some Zaterains seafood boil. By far, those two brands are my favorite.

There really isn’t a recipe to follow here: heat up a huge pot of water to boiling. Add several lemons you have sliced as well as the seafood boil of your choice. Add your potatoes, cooking until nearly done, then toss in the corn and sliced andouille sausage. Once those two items are cooked to your liking, add your seafood to the mix (check cooking times so you’re not overcooking your shrimp). It doesn’t take long to cook seafood at all! The entire dish should be ready to eat in under 30 minutes!

There are so many ways to serve up a Low Country boil; the most common one just dumping the cooked pot of food on newspaper. Since I was using a wooden table (not really made for outdoor use), we opted for another method of serving.

A great big serving board!

We added cocktail sauce and melted butter for dipping and our one pot dinner was a one platter delight!

Pile your plate up or eat off the tray; it doesn’t matter! Just dig in and enjoy!

Spring Showers & Shrimp Chowder

I can think of nothing more that I enjoy than puttering around the kitchen on a rainy spring day.  We have had several days of spring showers, which has given me plenty of occasions for dicing, chopping, sautéing, and setting the table; taking the time to make my little family feel special instead of rushed through the supper hour.

Last weekend as the weather was not only rainy, but extremely cool, I decided a chowder was the perfect fix for our family supper.  It was also the perfect solution of something fabulous to make with some fresh coastal Carolina shrimp I had acquired at the market.

As you know, chowders are heavy and fattening and absolutely delicious, but would you believe that this Shrimp Chowder of mine was light, healthy, filing, and still oh-so-delicious?!

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I couldn’t wait for the leftovers it was so good.

The recipe is actually one that I slightly altered from “Strong” magazine; a magazine dedicated to living a fit life.  It’s one of my favorite reads as it focuses on strength training and working out from a variety of trainers and role models from Figure models to Olympic Ice Skaters.  It’s not filled with make-up, fashion, or sex articles like a variety of other “health” mags, but articles that will educated you and help you lead a continuous fit lifestyle!

If you are keeping up with your protein, and focusing on a lower sodium & fat diet, this is perfect as it has 28 grams of protein per serving and under 300 mg of sodium.  The entire chowder came together in under 45 minutes which makes it a good option for a week night meal as well!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 Large Vidalia onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

12 smallish red potatoes, diced into small bites

6 cups fat-free evaporated milk

2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp (just pay the extra to have the grocer do it for you)

1 Tablespoon black pepper

couple of twists of a pink Himalayan salt shaker

fresh dill for garnish

PUT IT TOGETHER:

1.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan

2. Saute the celery, onion, and garlic until softened on medium-high heat, about 5 or 6 minutes.  While the celery mixture is sautéing, dice the red potatoes into bite-sized pieces, leaving the skin on.

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3. Add the potaoes and milk to the celery mixture. Cover and simmer on low, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender; about 20 minutes.

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4. Stir in the shrimp, pepper and twist of salt. Simmer until the shrimp is pink; about five minutes or so.

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And serve up your scrumptious chowder in pretty bowls, garnished with dill.

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It’s easy, perfect, and without a doubt so delicious.  It’s simple enough for a weeknight family supper or perfect for entertaining guests.

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It does make a pretty dish.

Your company will think you’ve spent hours on it as they enjoy it at your table, and your family will feel like they are in a fancy restaurant.

You can’t beat that kind of satisfaction!

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Sriracha Lime Shrimp Salad

While the high is only 45 today in South Carolina, spring really is on the way.  For me that means swapping the heavier foods of winter for something light and filling.  After all we don’t want thick thighs come short, swimsuit, & 5K weather!

It is also the season for “fast food” as my Madeline has joined the Lacrosse team this year and we have games at least 3 nights a week!

This Sriracha Lime Shrimp salad totally fits both of my needs.  Easy, fast, healthy and clean, there is no reason to worry about getting a healthy supper on the table in minimum time.

Now this does require just a bit of prep, but take 15 minutes before you walk out the door to get your shrimp marinating, and then 20-25 minutes when you get home to get it on the table and VOILA!

Supper is served.

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Ingredients:

For the Shrimp

2-3 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined {just pay the extra & purchase them this way….so much easier!}

1/4 cup sriracha

2 limes, juiced

Pink Himalayan Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

For the Salad

8 cups lettuce, chopped

10 pineapple rings, sliced

1 cup diced tomato

small red onion, diced

bunch of green onion, sliced

2 avocados, sliced

fresh cilantro, chopped

Lime Dressing

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 limes, juiced

2 tsp honey

ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shrimp with the sriracha, lime juice, salt & pepper.  Set in the refrigerator to marinade 30 minutes.  The longer it marinades, the better (which is why I said you can do this step ahead of time).

Use a glass bowl when marinating your shrimp

Use a glass bowl when marinating your shrimp

2.  Use the marinade time to chop your vegetables for the salad.

3.  Heat a grill or non-stick skillet to medium-high.  Once the shrimp is marinated, either skewer to place on a grill or add to the skillet to cook.

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4.  Take your pineapple rings and add to grill.  Grill for 5 minutes, flipping once as they heat up.

5.  Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing; taste to adjust ingredients (whether or not you need more pepper, lime, etc…)

6.  Once the shrimp is done (shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes until they are cooked through), assemble the salad, & toss with a little of the lime dressing.

Don't you just love colorful food?!

Don’t you just love colorful food?!

There you have it…. clean, easy, healthy, and fast.

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Oh yeah…. It’s delicious as well!

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It’s still pretty even when tossed

Our Southern Table

Wishing you all a fabulous and healthy weekend!

We’ll be watching this girl play Lacrosse!

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Joining Concord Cottage for Something to Talk About Link Party

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Comfort Food {Garlicky Shrimp & Peas}

Sometimes it just amazes me the number of people that think because I have changed my eating habits, that we never have “good” food on our supper table.
Seriously, you don’t have to eat out of a box, or a can, or a bag, or in a restaurant to eat delicious well prepared meals!
{I don’t even have to smother what I do prepare in condiments to add flavor.}
Now there are moments that I miss cooking with bacon, sautéing in butter, making sauces loaded with cream or even deep frying my fries or chicken, but for the most part I am quite content with my choices.
And they are definitely paying off!

I mean who is going to complain about losing 75 pounds?!

 

I found a recipe in Food and Wine magazine a couple of years back that our family really enjoyed, but was put away when I started changing things around here.
Recently when I was organizing (and rewriting) recipes I came across this wonderful dish and decided to remake it for our supper.
Substituting olive oil for bacon grease and using all fresh ingredients (yes it takes away the convenience, but it is so worth it), I made healthy comfort food just perfect for a rainy winter day or even for celebrating Fat Tuesday on the 12th!

 

Ingredients:

for the peas….
4 scallions
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, strip leaves from stem
1/2 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes
1 pound fresh black-eye peas, cooked ahead of time
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s no-salt Creole seasoning (taste after the peas have been added back to the mixture and add more for a more Creole taste)
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or homemade no sodium chicken broth)
 
for the shrimp….
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine (you can also use unsweetened white grape juice)
 

Cook scallions, sweet onion, celery, bell pepper, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, red-pepper flakes, & Tony Chachere’s seasoning in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast iron dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are pale golden, about 8-10 minutes.


Add black-eye peas and broth (I use homemade left from stewing chicken) and simmer five minutes.


Transfer the black-eye pea mixture to a bowl and set aside for a few minutes.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same dutch oven over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Season shrimp with 1/4 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Cook shrimp with garlic, stirring occasionally, until just opaque (shrimp will not be fully cooked), about 3 minutes.

 Add wine and bring to a boil, then briskly simmer 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Add black-eye pea mixture and simmer until just heated through (mixture will be juicy). Taste to see if you want more of a Creole taste and add another tablespoon of the Tony Chachere’s if you desire.


  Discard bay leaf before serving.

You can serve this over rice, or just enjoy it alone.



 

Looks delicious doesn’t it?

I assure you, it is!

Linking up with Foodie Friday, Food on Friday and On the Menu Monday this week.