Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beach Eats: Frogmore Stew

For as long as I can remember, our family trips to Pawleys have included a Frogmore Stew Night, which I have looked forward to almost as much as Trivial Pursuit & Pie Night, Crab Cake Night and (now that I'm a "grown up") Hearts & Manhattans Night.

If you are not familiar with this South Carolina tradition, let me first inform you that there are no frogs in this stew and, well, it's not really a stew.

Consisting of sausage, shrimp, corn on the cob, and sometimes red potatoes, this low country boil is not only delicious but also fun to eat. The "stew" is dumped in the middle of the dinner table, which is covered in newspapers, and everyone grabs as much of everything that can fit on a plate. Cocktail sauce is served for the shrimp, but if you're eating with my family take heed--Emma & I have been know to mix in extra horseradish when the parents aren't looking!

Once the feeding is underway, empty shells and cornless cobs are thrown back onto the table to make room on plates for seconds and thirds. Unless, of course, the promise of a delicious dessert encourages you to practice moderation.

I've cooked Frogmore Stew at home and found that while it's always tasty, some of the charm is lost when it's eaten in a civilized manner in a land-locked state. As if I needed another reason to return to the beach.

Don't have your own Frogmore Stew recipe? The Beaufort County Library has several versions, as well as a brief history of the dish. Cooking it while at Pawleys? Let us recommend the Pawleys Island Seafood Market on 10517 Ocean Highway for your shrimp.

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