Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recipe: Low Country Boil

Lately I have gotten a few calls and emails about how I make a Low Country Boil.
It is a really simple dish in which one boils potatoes, corn, sausage, and shrimp in a large pot over strong heat. Simple and delicious. Coming from the Savannah area, everyone has their own take on this region defining dish- everyone and has their favorite method. One of the biggest problems is that if you don't boil the potatoes just right, they will crumble in a soggy mess. You also have to be careful not to overcook the shrimp, which can turn tough and rubbery. I cook everything in one great big pot adding ingredients based on the times below. With this precise timing you don't have to worry about under or overcooking anything. The best pot is a large turkey fryer pot (usually a 30 quart tall pot, though I now use a 32 quart shorter and more wide pot) with a strainer and a propane heat source. Though it can be done on the stove top my kitchen wont allow a big enough pot on the stove (plus its heresy to do this indoors!).
Low Country Boil is a great main course when you need to feed a large number of people in a very relaxed atmosphere. It is perfect during the fall tailgating or hosting friends and neighbors for a backyard dinner. Typically, I dump the whole mess on a table lined with newspaper. Serve with homemade cocktail sauce and plenty of napkins.
Recipe adapted from Pual Deen. For six hungry guest and you can multiply easily for larger parties.

Fill 30 quart pot about 2/3 up with WATER. Add OLD BAY SEASONING to taste (usually about 1/2 cup). Bring water to boil then add 10 NEW RED POTATOES and SAUSAGE to pot. Try to find potatoes that are the same size so they cook evenly. I quickly rinse them off in the sink before hand. The sausage should be a mix of regular spicy Italian style sausage cut into 3-4" pieces (please none of those pencil thin suasage links- they should be confined to the breakfast table). For six people I use a total of 24" of sausage. Boil for 20 minutes. Then add 6 ears of CORN, cleaned and broken in half. Boil for another 10 minutes. Lastly add 3 lbs. of SHRIMP and cook for no more than 3 minutes. Once the shrimp are a rich pink-red color and float to the top, you are done. Strain the water out and allow your food to rest on the table long enough to sprinkle some more OLD BAY on top.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Speed Racer

Speed Racer
Originally uploaded by ngusry
NASCAR race weekend has come and gone from the St Louis area... however there is at least one new race fan in the area, Speed Racer Spence'. Yes that is a real racing helmet, and no we can't get it off him, and yes sometimes he sleeps in it.

Our pre-race festivities did make local television (no, not in that way). Channel 2 Fox News quickly became interested in my cooking of traditional Savannah food (or wanted to get the evidence in the can if I exploded something!) and video taped us for nearly an hour. I didn't get to see much of the footage- they told us it would be on thier website, but so far I haven't been able to find it.

Perhaps I can find it... or one of the people who text messaged me on Sunday morning recorded it. :)

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

And that is whenthe camera died

I know... you are probably just going to call her "Shamu" and think you know all about Orca Whales. Yeah, that is what I did.

However, a very nice person on flickr told me her name was Tilikum. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

Anyway here is my tip of the day- when at Sea World and you are sittiing in the splash zone, they mean it. I don't mean you might get some sprinkles on you while watching a nice whale show, I am sayin' you get soaking wet, head to toe as this beast lands, displacing a couple of tons of water.

Oh yeah- its also very awesome. They are such amazing creatures. Watching them work with thier trainers is one of the special things that makes me forget the $75 admission fee... per person. It was that cool.

Off to the race track this weekend for some NASCAR action. I hope to have some good pictures up soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fireworks at the Castle

Fireworks at the Castle
Originally uploaded by ngusry
This was my first time shooting fireworks. Having to navigate the crowds in the big park was only a minor issue- by the time I got the family squared away, there were few places to view the show that give a good picture- then I noticed the big tree in the way. Oh well... it was only the first of my problems.
Technically this picture leaves a lot to be desired, however I do like it on many levels. If you are the technical person, feel free to let me know where the mistakes were, its all part of learning.
This was from our first day at the park, and I planed to return every night for the show. However, add in some weather, tired kids, and ADD- well this was the only time I got to shoot the fireworks, this time around!

Shamu and the Family

Shamu and the Family
Originally uploaded by ngusry
We have been back from our Disney/Orlando vacation for a few weeks. We had a blast! Let me tell you that Spencer and I had the most fun. No that Kadi, Leyton, or the rest of the family didn't have fun- we just had the most. Trust me on this one!

One day we went over to SeaWorld and had a wonderful day at the 'other' park in Orlando. My mom, sister, aunt, and associated families were there as well to enjoy the fun. Part of the fun was watching big whale show and riding some cool roller coasters (just an FYI- SeaWorld has the best coasters in Orlando). Its also a park you can do all in one day.

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