What’s living on the inlet like? Imagine your ‘front yard’ changing totally daily with high and low tides, with the full moon, with inclement weather, and especially during hurricane season when tropical storms or named hurricanes come through. Imagine sitting on the dried and chaffed dock, dangling your feet in the warm salt water during the summer, and watching the tide ripples steadily move in or out. Imagine the sun shining on the water, and it appearing as if diamonds are dancing right before you. Another question…what’s it like as a kid growing up on the inlet? Well, that’s another story that is yet to come!
Imagine baiting crab traps with chicken wings, necks or even sticky buns, dropping the traps right off the dock, and coming back 24-36 hours later to find a crowd of crabs squirming around like feisty children crowded on a school bus! Oh, yes, I could go on and on, but I won’t because I’m here to share with you a family delight and pleasure…Frogmore Stew!
One thing that we have with our Frogmore Stew is cornbread! For tonight’s fare, I cooked 4 different kinds…regular butter, herb and asiago cheese, aged cheddar cheese, and spicy fresh tomato…in various size cast iron skillets. And, expect to pick and eat with your hands and fingers…who needs utensils, just plenty of papertowels! Clean up’s a breeze…just re-cycle the crab and shrimp shells and claws back into the inlet along with any leftover taters or corn, then wrap up the plates and everything else in the newspaper…presto, done!
How in the world could I write anything more descriptive about this creation than what is written on the “Official South Carolina Dining” website! Southern Cuisine: Lowcountry Style and it’s all about Frogmore Stew.
“Does your tummy turn over when thinking about Frogmore Stew? Wondering how many more frogs are required for this South Carolina specialty? Relax, there are NO frogs in Frogmore Stew – in fact, it is more of an event than a dish. That is Southern cuisine the South Carolina way.
Similar to the crawfish boils in Louisiana, this “Lowcountry boil” is best served on a newspaper-covered picnic table, eaten with the fingers and shared with family and friends.
Also known as Beaufort Stew, some claim that this one-pot dish (essentially a seasoned mixture of fresh shrimp, newly shucked yellow corn, sausage and potatoes) best represents the essential simplicity of Lowcountry cuisine. According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, Frogmore Stew originated in the Frogmore community on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, but the truth is that Frogmore Stew exists throughout the coastal regions of the south.”
This is the basic recipe we follow! Frogmore Stew features two main ingredients, fresh shrimp and newly shucked yellow corm, but most anything that is good boiled, such as crabs, redskin potatoes, and even crawfish can be added. Two keys to making a successful Frogmore Stew are:
- 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning per gallon water (or more to taste)
- several lemons, halved (optional)
- redskin potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
- spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices (¼ pound per person)
- fresh corn, broken into halves or thirds (1 ½ ears per person)
- shrimp (½ pound per person)
- butter, melted
- cocktail sauce
- sour cream