I received the latest Veranda magazine in the mail yesterday and there was that armoire that Michelle was recreating in Tuesday’s post! Great job Michelle! And while Michelle was working on that lovely piece, she was also in the kitchen making dinner. Ultimate multi-tasker!
I’m a busy girl. Now, I’ll tell you that I’m just putzing doing nothing but keeping Jon out of trouble – or getting him into some. (hee hee) I lie. This week, because I’ve been losing my mind over a real estate short sale nightmare, I’ve decided to do something BIG to keep my mind someplace else. Jon’s happy that it just involves paint and not a sledgehammer or a sawz-all. So, he’s letting me run wild, smiling and nodding as I go along.
But I digress, all this remodeling leaves me little time in the kitchen. So soon I forget what it was like when I worked 8 hours in an office came home to a fussy baby, help make other building decisions and deal with family issues. And you know my family, they’ve got a lot of issues. Geez, I’m like semi-retired now – NOT!
The other day I received my newest Coastal Living Magazine and it reminded me of a southern favorite I’d let slip from my main soup-group. See, I’m no Crock Star – I’m more the Soup Nazi! And I love Frogmore Stew, ewwww what an awful name. Now we call it a Lowcountry Boil. Yes, Mr.SpellCheck, it’s ONE word – welcome to Florida. On busy remodeling days, I know I’ll forget all about dinner and panic at about 4:30 with no plan (and I have to have a plan). But there’s always the ingredient list available in my pantry and freezer for this one. I make mine more healthy and lower fat than normal, and it’s just as tasty . So, ya’ll git you yer crock pot out and let’s us do up a Lowcountry Boil. (yes, I know – I hear the sirens from the grammar police from here)
Lowcountry Boil – The Busy-Girls-Short-Cut Version
Step 1: It’s still morning so, gather the goodies – see, the pot already has frozen chicken broth thawing. Set it to low for however long you’ll be busy.
1/3 Cup Bacon pieces (I keep some in the freezer, because I need bacon grease without the bacon sometimes. The guys can sprinkle them in eggs and I only have to stink up the kitchen every couple of months)
1 small Onion, chopped fine
1/2 Pepper – Yellow, Red or Orange, chopped
3 cloves, Garlic, minced
1 tsp Seafood Seasoning (aka Old Bay)
4 Cups Chicken or Veggie Broth
2 Cups Water *(to cook the shrimp tails in for a seafood broth)
4 Potatoes, cut up or little creamers (about 1 lb. or 1 1/2 lb)
1 Cup of another seafood if you like (I happen to have imitation crab that need to go)
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
Step 2: Toss it all in the pot, except the shrimp and peas. When shrimp cooks too long it gets tough and rubbery. Pull the tails off (and shells if there are any) and put the shrimp back in the fridge. Cover them – they stink!
Step 3: Put the tails in a pot (if you have time) with the water and cook up for 5 or 10 min. Then strain broth into the crock and toss the tails. Or just use 2 more cups broth.
Step 4: While those tails cook, lets look at this little number. I keep these Knorr blocks on hand for all kinds of dishes that need heat, but not take-your-head-off heat. And they don’t spoil so add them to your pantry – they don’t take up much space.
Step 5: I’ve been buzzing around all day with that crock pot on low. Add salt & pepper now. Many of the ingredients have a salty taste after stewing all day. Garlic, OldBay, Knorr blocks are all salty. And maybe you’ve got full salt broth…or maybe not. Now I’m ready to serve. Pull the shrimp and toss in along with the frozen peas (for color mainly). When the shrimp are pink, they’re cooked.
Finale: Look at that healthy Soup Nazi creation – yes, there is soup for you! Pretty as the magazine shoot, with less calories. No extra butter or bacon fat needed here. But you may need some sweet tea and a side of crusty bread. Aaahh, the South comes to you wherever you are. Y’all enjoy.
Another yummy recipe from Michelle! If I had all those ingredients in my cupboards, freezer and fridge, Terry would think someone else was living here!