Some recipes and clarifications thanks to Ernie Maler, the only person I know who actually has made Frogmore Stew and more than once. So, first, despite using green in the heading above, there are NO frogs in Frogmore Stew, which is really a Carolina-style boil rather than a stew, with all the ingredients cooked together in a big pot of water, flavored with lots of Old Bay seasoning. The basic seafood is always shrimp, and excellent, optional additions are crabs and clams. Customarily, served informally, cooked ingredients having been scooped out of the boiling liquid and dumped on a large parchment-covered table, which diners surround and dive into. But this dish also works served on a huge platter in a more conventional setting.
A variation, using chicken stock rather than water, is also tasty; see below Frogmore Stew as concocted by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock as adapted from a presentation in their venerable tome, The Gift of Southern Cooking.
- In a large pot, bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to a boil; add seafood/shrimp boil package or Old Bay Seasoning; add bay leaf and two (2) lemons, quartered two stalks of celery.
- Add 3 pounds baking potatoes (medium/small size); boil for ten minutes; add 1 pound carrots and 6 ears of corn, halved; boil for five (5) minutes.
- Add three (3) pounds kielbasa or smoked sausage and three (3) pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions, halved.
- At this time, add optional seafood eight East Coast Bay style crabs.
- When above ingredients are almost fully cooked, add three (3) pounds shrimp in shells; cook two to three minutes. Then, finally, if adding clams, add 18 partially steamed clams..
- Cook about one minute to ensure entire mixture is heated through and all seafood is cooked but just barely.
- Arrange parchment or newspaper on a table, dump drained, cooked ingredients in a pile in the center of the table. Have hot sauce and other favorite condiments available.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.
(Frogmore Stew adapted from a shrimp-boil concocted by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)
1 ½ pounds spicy, smoked sausage
2 medium green bell peppers
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (homemade if possible)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
18 small, new potatoes, halved
2 medium onions, peeled, sliced into ⅓-inch wedges (leaving root intact)
3 ears corn, shucked, quartered
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
36 large fresh shrimp, with heads, if available
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Put sausage in a baking pan. Rub peppers with the oil and add to the pan. Roast, turning occasionally, until sausage is browned and peppers begin to blister, about twenty minutes. Remove pan from the oven and set aside until cooled slightly. Cut sausage into ½-inch.lengths and peppers into ½-inch chunks.
- Place chicken stock in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add bay leaves and thyme, potatoes, onions, then cook, partially covered, for ten (10) minutes . Add sausage and bell peppers, corn and tomatoes, and simmer, uncovered until the potatoes and corn are done, about ten (10) minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the shrimp and cook only until cooked through, three to five minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley, and serve immediately. (Large, flat soup bowls are ideal for this dish.) Broth can be ladled over each serving or served on the side in small cups.
Yield: Serves 6.
So, remember, all the frogs are still in the pond keeping the insect population under control, while you are rounding up shrimp, crabs, clams and all the other goodies in a great Frogmore Stew. Enjoy!
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