These recipes originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of HomeLife Magazine.
A few months ago, my husband and I traveled to California to visit our son, Taylor. He had landed a new position in Santa Monica which provided us a reason to visit and take in some of the sights.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree with this kid — like his mom, he loves to explore great food. Understandably, he was excited to introduce us to a few of his favorite culinary finds. Eating our way through the city, we savored Ahi Tuna burgers, calamari, handmade tortillas grilled over an open fire, Nori handrolls, authentic street tacos, and Taiwanese dumplings. By far the most gratifying dining experience was the Korean Barbecue.
I have a deep fondness for Asian dishes, but it wasn’t my taste buds that favored this meal above all others. Korean Barbecue isn’t served, it’s experienced. Fatty meat such as ribeye, duck, and cow’s tongue are cooked on a grill pan centered in the table. Small side plates of glass noodles, steamed egg, rice, kimchi, and macaroni salad are placed around the table for sharing.
Grilling tableside with some of my favorite people, while rocking the chopsticks and enveloped by the sights and sounds of a robust Korean eatery, was truly an extraordinary experience. But it was the family-style sharing and casual pace that truly had me captivated.
I decided to return the favor and recreate a similar experience upon
Taylor’s next visit home.
But what would I serve? Fondue and Hibachi matched in style, but I was seeking a menu with familiarity, something with a Southern spin and the same casual vibe. Bonus points if we could dine alfresco and sit and talk until the candles burned down.
What I landed on was a dish from my Carolina roots — Frogmore Stew, better known as Low Country Boil. The spicy blend of boiled shrimp and sausage, with potatoes, corn, and onions pair nicely with the summer heat. Finger food dining around newspaper-adorned tables brings the casual vibe. Dinner is served when the pot is drained and dumped to waiting hands and ends when the last shrimp is peeled and popped.
Follow my lead and invite your people over to stay awhile with this easy, no effort, perfect-for-a-party menu. Make your next gathering a culinary and dining experience with casual, family-style Low Country Boil and slow the pace for reconnecting.
“Finger food dining around newspaper-adorned tables brings the casual vibe.” — Laura
Low Country Boil | Makes 12 servings
3/4 c. Old Bay Seasoning
2 lemons (cut in half)
6 qt. water
5 lb. medium red potatoes
3 white onions (quartered)
10 ears of corn (shucked and cut in half)
2.5 lb. smoked or kielbasa sausage
(cut into three-inch links)
4 lb. fresh shrimp (unpeeled)
Fill a seven-gallon stockpot with water. Add seasoning and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and allow pot to return to a boil and cook for five minutes. Add onions and sausage and cook five more minutes. Add corn, allowing liquid to come to a boil, and cook for five minutes. When potatoes are done, add shrimp and cook for three minutes or until pink. Drain liquid and dump down the middle of a long picnic table covered with newspaper. Serve with drawn butter, cocktail sauce, crusty bread, or Cheddar biscuits.
Cheddar Biscuits | Makes 6 servings
2 c. flour
1 c. Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. butter (melted)
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter cookie sheet and set aside. Combine flour, cheese, baking powder, salt, parsley, and garlic powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine milk, butter, and egg. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring until just combined, but not over-working the dough. Drop even rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Banana Pudding | Makes 12 servings
5.1 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. container of frozen whipped topping
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
3 c. whole milk
11 oz. box vanilla wafers
Using a stand or hand mixer, blend pudding mix and cream cheese. Add sweetened condensed milk, then whole milk, mixing well until combined. Add half container of frozen whipped topping to the mixture. Stir in well, reserving the rest for topping. Mixture will be very soupy at this point. Place mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. In the meantime, slice bananas and set aside. In a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish, form two layers of wafers, pudding, and bananas. Top with remaining frozen whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
For more Biblical and practical counsel for the home, subscribe to HomeLife Magazine here!
Laura Schupp is the author of Our Newlywed Kitchen: The Art of Cooking, Gathering & Creating Traditions. Learn more about Laura at OurNewlywedKitchen.com.