Tag Archives: Potatoes

Low Country Boil for a crowd.


I love a good Low Country Boil, and so do a lot of people.  It’s really a very simple dish, but oh, so flavourful, and easy to make.   If you have a large enough pot that is.  I do, mainly cause I got a huge stock pot from my DH for Christmas one year.  I asked for a large stock pot, and when asked how big I wanted it, I said very big.  And I got it.  I didn’t realize pots came in extra-large gigantic size.   OK, so it’s only a 20 quart pot, but still…

I was visiting family a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to make them a typical southern dish.  I knew they didn’t have Collard Greens up there, so couldn’t make them a good greens and cornbread meal.  And I was not about to schlep up some frozen greens with me.
Can you imagine the mess in your suitcase as they melt?  Never mind that they would probably refreeze when the plane gets up to 30,000 feet, but on the ground they’d just melt again.
Sorry, got sidetracked there.

I decided a Low Country Boil would probably be something they would enjoy, and I was pretty certain they’d never had one.    And best of all, I knew I could get all the ingredients there.  Well, with one exception, I wasn’t too sure about getting Old Bay Seasoning, so I brought a tin with me.  Which was a good thing, cause only one store had it, and that was what we call a sample tin down here.
I prepare for my cooking adventures.  In fact I think that was one of my Girl Guide motto’s, Be Prepared.  hmmm, gotta go check that one out.  Later.

My sister also let me take over her kitchen, and gee, she had a lovely large stock pot, which I filled to the brim.

I was feeding 14 people, so I prepared accordingly, and when a couple of people weren’t able to make it, we ended up with some leftovers, but leftovers are always good.  (I had some for breakfast the next day).

I’m going to tell you how much of each item I cooked, but please don’t be put off by the quantity, cause if you make this, you’ll scale it up or down according to how many people you feed.

5 lbs. small new potatoes or red potatoes.  Don’t use Russet or any mealy potato, it will just cook out to moosh or mush.
3 lbs. link smoked sausage, cut into thirds.  Use your favourite brand here.  And if you happen to have some lovely garlic sausage, throw that in.  It really goes well in here.
8 ears fresh corn, cut into thirds, or enough so each person gets at least one.
3 lbs. Shrimp, fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter.  If you prefer it shelled and deveined, go for it, again, does not matter.
1/2-3/4 cups Old Bay Seasoning (you can cut this down, but this is supposed to be a spicy dish.)
1-2 lemons, cut in half.
2-4 garlic cloves, optional
1-2 lbs. Crab (I didn’t have any, but you can add this if you like.

 

 

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and sausages, about half way up the pot or a little more,  add the Old Bay Seasoning, the halved lemons and bring to a boil.
Cook until the potatoes are just almost done, and add the corn.  Cook an additional 5 minutes, and then add the uncooked shrimp.   I added the shrimp on top, and then stirred them in a little, just wanted to make sure they cooked.

 

Cook another 2-3 minutes and scoop out the shrimp when they’re cooked, set them aside for just a minute while you scoop out the rest of that luscious boil, and place on either a long flat platter, or dump the drained goodies on some newspaper spread out on a table outside. It’s kinda traditional to do that in the south.

The shrimp were cooked to perfection, the potatoes were done and the corn, well, let me put it like this, you don’t need butter when you cook them in some Old Bay.

We also served some crusty bread alongside, just cause.

Add the cooked shrimp on top and tell everyone to dig in.   You can eat this with your hands, but it gets kinda messy.  Just make sure you’ve got lots of napkins or Southern Style napkins handy.  Southern Style napkins would be that roll of paper towel.
We actually had two big platters and we all had more than enough to eat.

As you can see from this platter.   In retrospect, I guess we could have had less potatoes, but hey, when you’re cooking for a crowd, you want everyone to have enough to eat.

The next day I had some of the potatoes and sausage fried up for breakfast and we also took a good helping over to friends of my parents who also got to try some.

We did have dessert as well.    I made a Banana Pudding which is kind of a southern staple as well.    But I’ll share the how and where and when of that on another post.

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Potcakes (Potato Cakes)


A few years back we were on vacation and happened upon a restaurant called Grannies’s.

With a name like that, we had to try it.

C’mon, Grannie’s?

Visions of a grandmother standing over a stove, stirring something that smelled like heaven and tasted as good as it smelled.

So we went in and looked at the menu.  I like reading menu’s before I try the food out.  Sometimes the menu just gets downright silly with the descriptions, and you wonder why someone will shell out good money for spinach that was harvested using only gently sustainable efforts on the latter side of a new moon..

You’ve read that kind of menu, I know you have.  And maybe you’ve eaten there as well, but I love seeing the descriptions of the food offered at any new restaurant I want to try.

This menu was pretty basic, but they had one item on there that stood out for me.   And that was the Potcakes.  The only other Potcakes I’d ever heard of were the dogs that you find in the Bahamas.

So I ordered them as my side to the meatloaf, and they were so good.   Deep fried potato cakes, crispy and melty and yummy, with little bits of sweet onions mixed in.

I’ve tried to replicate them ever since, with no success.   I’ve actually eaten the evidence of my failures.  Although some have been consigned as offerings to the Kitchen Goddess. sigh

I finally done did it.   Made them, just the way I remember those Potcakes from so long ago.   And all it took was me messing up some mashed potatoes and deciding to take that failure and make a potato cake for lunch.    I’d made the mashed taters with new Yukon Gold potatoes and they didn’t have the starch in them like russets, and quite frankly they were a little gluey.  I ate a bit of them, then consigned the rest to the fridge.

I didn’t measure out exactly, but I had about 1 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes (made with fresh gold potatoes, not russet.   I just added an egg, about 1/2 cup of Wondra flour, mixed that all up with half a chopped onion and then fried them in a little hot oil.

I then glopped (technical term here) some Creme Fraiche on top of them and proceeded to eat three of them.  I left one for later.

OK, so I ate the first one I took a picture of, then proceeded to eat two more.

But they were worth it.

So, the next time you make gluey mashed taters, try adding a little Wondra Flour, a chopped onion and an egg to them, and frying them up as Potcakes.

Baked Stuffed Potatoes


Potatoes have to be one of the most versatile foods around.  Think about it, you can boil, fry, mash, bake, sauté, stuff, smash, sky’s the limit.     I made Baked Stuffed Potatoes for the January Boat Club the other day and they were good.  Even if I do say so myself.   And I know they were good cause out of the 5 pounds of potatoes I made, I only got to take home 1 1/2 potatoes. sigh.  But that’s OK.  I watched people really enjoying them so that’s a good thing.

5 Pounds Red Butter Potatoes, baked (mine were on the small side)
1 lb. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1/8 lb. butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb. sautéed Mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon, or more to taste
2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 tsp. sea salt

I took the five pounds of Red Butter potatoes out of my pantry, dumped them into a sink full of water and scrubbed them very well.  After I dried them off, I placed them on a rimmed baking pan and poured some EVOOl over them.  Rolled them in the EVOO to coat and then ground some sea salt over them.

I baked the potatoes for just over an hour, checked them at the hour point for tenderness, OK, so I pulled one out of the oven and ate it.  It was lunch, so there!   They needed a few more minutes so I put them back into the oven.   While they were finishing baking, I grated up a pound of cheese, I used Monterey Jack Cheese cause I had some.

sautéed the mushrooms til they were golden brown, I wanted to get as much flavour out of them as I could.    And chopped up some extremely flavourful bacon I had on hand.

I pulled the potatoes out of the oven, and let them sit for a few minutes, just long enough to cool down so I could handle them.   I cut them in half, and scooped out the innards, leaving a rim around the edge.    The scooped out potatoes were placed in a large bowl, and when I finished scooping out all the potatoes I used my ricer and riced the potatoes.  ( My first time using it, and it was fun. Made the potatoes nice and even, no lumps).   I heated the butter and cream together and folded it into the potatoes.   Hint:  If you are making mashed potatoes, heat the milk or cream and butter together before adding to the potatoes, it makes for a lighter fluffier mash.

Folded the grated cheese into the potatoes, then added the mushrooms and bacon to it.
I then mounded some of the mashed potato mixture into each potato half and topped them all with some more grated cheese.   Nothing like excess where cheese is concerned.  Just sayin…

 

Don’t they look purty?

I then baked them off for about 40 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt and for the potatoes to be heated through.

Wrapped them up well, and took them to Boat Club where they disappeared in short order.  I had a pan and a half with me, and only took home 1 1/2 potatoes.  (three pieces in other words).   Which was a good thing.

I just had to do a close up, you can see the steam rising from the the lovely gooey potatoes.

There’s the latest Boat Club offering.   Now I have to start thinking about what to make for Tapas night.    I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

In the meantime, have fun with your food, it tastes better when you’re having fun in the kitchen.