Lowcountry Boil

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US. Spend time with your loved ones and remember those who sacrificed so we could spend this time together. The recipe below is a classic great for get-togethers with the framily [sic].

Heather says:

Making Low Country Boil is a time honored tradition in the South. Remember how leery I was when I posted my recipe for fried chicken? Lowcountry boil* is another traditional recipe where people will bicker over the right way to get things done. What I’m sharing below is a framework; how you change the ingredients to fit your taste will depend on the tradition you are following or creating.

*notice that sometimes there is a space and sometimes there isn’t, that’s a whole other debate. I tend to stick to Lowcountry, but other people have strong opinions on the matter.

This recipe for Lowcountry boil can be multiplied to feed a crowd. The proportions are for 4lbs medium to large headless, deveined shrimp.

It’s a casual dinner, meant to be enjoyed with cold beer, lots of napkins, talk about the heat, and good friends.

Lowcountry Boil is a one pot wonder. The sausage, potatoes (and onions, if you’d like) are tossed in first, then comes the sweet corn, and finally, at just the last minute the shrimp join in the fun. Never forget, over cooked shrimp are rubber shrimp; as soon as they are cooked through, it’s time to lift the basket or strain the contents.  I’m not cool enough to have a basket insert. Large batches can be prepared outdoors in a turkey fryer, with the exact same timeline.

If you have a picnic table, cover it with newspaper or butcher’s paper, dump out the spread and everyone can pick at the Lowcountry boil to their hearts’ content. Having to peel the shrimp slows people down enough to enjoy the meal and complain about the heat and bugs. It’s a bonding experience.

Lacking a picnic table, we chose to eat indoors, but enjoyed it all the same.

Recipe for Lowcountry Boil

  • 2 lbs smoked or kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces  (We prefer smoked, sorry Mom)
  • 3 lbs new or Yukon Gold potatoes – If they are large, quarter them
  • Optional 1 – 2 onions, paper removed and quartered
  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed, broken or cut in half
  • 4 lbs medium shrimp, headless and deveined
  • Crab Boil (love me some Zatarains) or Old Bay Seasoning (I two time on Zatarains w/ Old Bay)  - to taste, somewhere between 2 tsp per quart of water – 1 TBSP per quart
  • 3 – 4 whole cloves (not heads) of garlic

Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat and add the crab boil or Old Bay.

While waiting for the water to boil, beware of sneak thieves, they will lurk about.

When the water boils add the potatoes, garlic, optional onions, and sausage. You can reduce the heat a little, but keep it boiling. After 10 minutes add the corn

Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and cook for 3 minutes.

Strain.

Serve.

Enjoy.

Picnic Perfect: Potato Salad

Dear Home Ec 101:

My neighborhood will soon be throwing their annual blockparty. I don’t want anyone to know that I can’t cook for beans. Do you have a recipe for me? Please don’t tell me just to go to the deli and put it in a new bowl. I want to try, but I’m busy and I need something I can make the night before. Oh, and I’m vegetarian but eggs and dairy are fine.

Signed,

Persnickety Picnicker

Heather says:

I recently talked my mother into giving up her potato salad recipe. Everyone needs a go-to dish for events like this and as long as you promise she won’t be there, you are welcome to bring this dish. This recipe is easily halved and makes a great side dish for BBQ dinners.

 

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold for best results)
  • 5 hardboiled eggs – (save two for garnish) And here’s How to Hard Boil Eggs
  • 1 medium sweet onion – diced
  • 2-3 green onions – chopped or diced
  • 2 stalks of celery – chopped or diced
  • ½ cup canned olives – green and black, sliced (save a few for garnis)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBSP sweet pickle relish
  • 1 or 2 dill pickles, diced or chopped
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2-3 TBSP honey mustard or honey mustard salad dressing
  • Salt / Pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish / color

Peel and cut up the potatoes, letting them sit in a bowl of lightly salted water during preparation.  Rinse several times and place into deep pan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer or low boil on medium heat until potatoes are cooked, but not mushy, between 10 – 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. In a separate, medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, honey mustard, pickle relish, diced dill pickles, celery, sweet and green onions, and salt/pepper. Taste this mixture (use a clean spoon, not your fingers, please!)

When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, place potatoes in a large bowl.  Peel and cut up the hardboiled eggs (reserving two). Add these to potato mixture.

When you are satisfied with the tastes of the dressing fold it into the potato and eggs. To do this, slide your spoon or spatula down the side of the bowl and then scoop the potatoes to the center. Turn the bowl a little after each scoop. Doing this prevents the spoon from mashing the potatoes.

Cover tightly and refrigerate. It’s best if the flavors have several hours to blend.

Just before serving, add slices of eggs or olives for garnish and sprinkle with paprika for color, if desired.

Enjoy!

*Check out Mouthwatering Monday at Southern Fairytale*

Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe

Bobbie sez

 

Bobbie says:

 

Lately, Home Ec 101 has been focusing on cooking basics, and in my opinion, Scalloped Potatoes are about as basic as it gets when it comes to side dishes. They go with practically anything, and with the right recipe, made-from-scratch scalloped potatoes are almost as easy as a boxed mix, so much better for you, and waaaay better tasting! And (lucky you) it just so happens I’ve got the right recipe.

While most scalloped potato recipes call for first making a white sauce, or using a can of condensed soup instead, this recipe is even better. Why? There is no white sauce to make and no canned soup with this Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe. It makes its own sauce as it bakes! So, the hardest bit is peeling and slicing the potatoes, which you know isn’t really hard at all.

What variety to use? Some say only red. Other say definitely yellow. While I do like both of those varieties, I prefer white potatoes in this recipe. It’s up to you, really. My honest opinion, based completely in practicality, is this: use what you have. Or what’s on sale. Seriously, I’ve tried scalloped potatoes using different varieties, and they all end up delicious. Don’t fret.

You’ll see the recipe calls for onions. I prefer yellow, but use what you like — even scallions would work, and give you a bit different flavor. If you’re tempted to omit onions because some family members are Not Onion People, please don’t. It’s really an essential part of the flavor here. Instead of sliced onions, though, you could use a smaller amount of finely minced onion.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 6 Versatile Side DishWhile I served these golden-browned, creamy scalloped potatoes with a pan-fried ham slice and peas, they’ll pair well with chicken (roasted or fried or even boneless breasts browned in butter), steak, roast beef, burgers, pork roast or chops, turkey — pretty much any non-pasta entree. And easy? Oh yeah, this one is a piece of cake. (Only, much easier than cake - for me anyway. I’m really not a baker.) Once they’re assembled and in the oven, little attention is required. They’ll bake while you work on the rest of the meal. Or read a book. Or, you know….write one.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe

2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 Tablespoons cold butter, plus more to grease pan
2 pounds white or yellow potatoes (about 6 medium – enough for 4 cups of sliced potatoes)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onionSimple Scalloped Potatoes - 1 from simple wholesome ingredients
3 tablespoons flour (unbleached all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choose a 2-quart baking dish, preferably no more than 2 to 3 inches deep. If you’re not sure it’ll hold 2 quarts, try filling it with 8 cups of water. Seriously, if it won’t, you’ll be cleaning the oven after baking this dish. If it holds a bit more than 2 quarts, that’s probably even better. Make sure it’s big enough, then rub the inside with butter.

Start heating the milk — you can either microwave it, or do it on the stovetop in a small pan. Do not boil it, just get it very hot. Once it’s hot, set it aside.

Wash the potatoes, scrubbing them if they’re very dirty. Peel them using a potato peeler or a sharp paring knife, and remove the eyes, if any.

Cut potatoes into slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Don’t sweat it. If they’re around that thickness, more or less, you’re good. Make sure you’ve got about a quart, or 4 cups, of potato slices.
Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 2 slice potatoes thinly

Make a layer of one-fourth of the potatoes, about a cup, in the casserole dish. Top that with one-fourth of the onion, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper.

Now we’re going to “dot with butter.” Here’s how: take 1 tablespoon of the butter and cut it into a dozen or so small bits, then distribute those more or less evenly over the potato/onion/flour layer.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 3 dot with butter

Repeat 2 more times, making a total of three layers of potatoes, onions, flour, salt, pepper and butter.

Now, do one more layer, same as the previous ones, except with no flour.

Pour the hot milk over the potatoes, then cover tightly with foil.

Place in preheated oven, being careful not to spill the liquid.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes longer. If you chose a deeper casserole dish, it may take up to another 20 minutes.

Carefully remove from oven – the sauce will be on the thin side right now. Let stand about 10 minutes for sauce to thicken before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 5 golden brown

 

Bobbie Laughman is probably just a figment of her own imagination, but if you like figments, consider following her on Pinterest or check out her blog, Gruntled, Sheveled, Whelmed.

 

Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

*plus an unrelated note from Heather at the end*
Bobbie says:

“So, is it cold enough for ya?” I don’t think I’ve made it through a winter in my entire life without hearing this lamest of questions at least once. I just smile and nod at the crazy person as I move along.  “Cold enough” implies that one looks forward to frigid temperatures. Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me during the winter knows I detest cold and snow, and probably thinks I’m less than sane for living north of the Mason-Dixon line my entire life, despite the weather. I couldn’t really argue with that.

We’ve actually had a rather mild winter in the Gettysburg area so far, but it’s still been cold enough to warrant some hearty, comforting soup to warm the bones as well as the soul. This simple Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup is perfect  for busy, chilly days. Peel a few potatoes, chop a carrot and toss everything in the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day, then finish the last step just before supper time. Pair with a tossed salad and maybe some crusty rolls for an easy-peasy winter meal. Simple, yet satisfying.

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - Easy Comfort Food

My potato preference for this is Yukon Gold, but any kind will do. Any fully cooked sausage can be used, and you can also use a different cheese. I think bratwurst with swiss cheese sounds really good, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Reheats nicely, if you’ve got any left over – keep in the fridge and use within a couple days. Freezing not recommended – texture will be affected.

 

Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

makes about 4 quarts

1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 1/2 cups peeled carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of dried thyme
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
4 cups chicken or pork stock, preferably homemade

1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Halve the sausage lengthwise, then slice about 1/4 inch thick.

Combine everything except the evaporated milk and cheese in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.

Remove the bay leaves. Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - gently stir in cheese

Stir in evaporated milk.

Sprinkle cheese over top of the soup. Stir gently until the cheese melts into the soup and mixes well throughout.

Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbie Laughman is a part-time elder caregiver, part-time administrative assistant and part-time dreamer of warm toes. She cooks and writes and bundles up well in the Gettysburg, PA area. Follow Bobbie on Pinterest,  subscribe to her blog or send a message to Bobbie@Home-Ec101.com.  

Heather says:
I’m very grateful that Bobbie sent this over last night. I didn’t want to not post this week, but the kids and I were rear-ended yesterday afternoon. We were all checked out at the ER and other than being extremely sore and cranky, we’re all okay. I want to thank the extremely nice staff at N&D Wireless, a local business, for letting the kids and me wait in their store while everything was sorted out. The ambulances (not for me or the kids and as far as I know, the other people are okay, too) and police took up most of their parking lot for a good hour. They helped entertain my shaken up kids and were just generally kind. They didn’t have to let my wound up kids go nuts in there for as long as they did, but that kindness meant a lot, I was pretty rattled. I’m going to be a complete slacker this weekend and hopefully attack Monday with all of my usual spite and enthusiasm. Have a good weekend and hug -yes, hug- those you love.

Tri-Color Roasted Potatoes with Parmesan and Awesome

avatarHeather says:

Tri-color roasted potatoes. Pretty? Yes. Delicious? You bet.

Is the recipe simple?

Totally.

Company worthy?

Yes.

This year I’m doing an American-Italian twist on recipes in the Countdown to Turkey Day Example menu. While I still plan on getting traditional mashed potatoes added to the recipe index, I thought this simple, but beautiful recipe for tri-color potatoes would be a great addition. As a bonus, roast potatoes are so simple, even the most novice cook can handle the recipe without fear. It’s a simple side dish that brings a lot of visual impact to a guest worthy meal without a lot of work.

Since this is a dish intended for its impressive factor, I use the par-boil method to roast the potatoes.

 

: Tri-Color Roasted Potatoes

: Three colors of potatoes are roasted and seasoned to make a great side dish

  • Purple or blue potatoes
  • red new potatoes
  • white new potatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher or sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • rosemary or other main-dish-complementary-herb* optional
  • fresh, grated parmesan **NOT OPTIONAL, due to the AWESOME

 

  • Scrub the potatoes thoroughly.
  • Cut the potatoes, without peeling into approximately the same size, many of the smaller potatoes will only need to be cut in half while the larger red and white new potatoes may need to be quartered.
  • Place the potatoes in cold, salted water, and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, turn it down to a simmer.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F
  • Simmer until just fork tender -you can easily stick a fork partway into the potato -somewhere in the 10 – 15 minute range.
  • Grease a baking sheet.
  • Drain the potatoes and toss with olive oil, then spread in a single layer over the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt, optional herb, and black pepper.
  • Bake at 425°F for 30 – 45 minutes until the outsides just start to brown. Then sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan.
  • Admire the view, then enjoy.

Questions?

I purposely did not include amounts. Know that, as long as it’s a side dish in a meal that has several options, you should estimate 1lb of potatoes for every three people.

Water amount? Enough to cover the potatoes. Salt, pepper, and herbs? To taste. Olive oil? Just enough to lightly coat the potatoes. Got it?
Great!

As a bonus, this recipe is naturally gluten free. Whee!