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I know everyone has seen a low country boil with sausage, corn, potatoes, onions, etc. Well this is Florida's answer to a Seafood Low Country Boil ... and their version. I have been doing this for some twenty years. Now, I will give you my recipe to serve 12, but just cut it in half or a third and add what you want. This recipe isn't about exact amounts, but more about the method and order of cooking. These are what I like to add, but if you don't like or can't afford the lobster, add more snow crab, shrimp, clams or mussels. So don't worry, what ingredients you have, but follow the order that everything is cooked. My ingredients include: onions, potatoes, corn on the cob, kielbasa or smoked sausage, artichokes, lemons, lobster tails, clams, mussels, snow crab and shrimp. Don't think you need a lobster tail per person, but I do 1/2 corn cob and 3 small potatoes per per person and 1/2 sausage (more sausage if I know there is not a lot of seafood lovers) and then the seafood. So this is my process for 12. I cook mine for this amount in a turkey cooker with water, beer and Old Bay seasoning, The turkey cooker than has a strainer so it is easy to drain, but a small pot on the stove will work for a small group of 3-4. Remember ... Rule of thumb 2-3 small red potatoes, 1/2 - 1 sausage link, 1 artichoke heart, 1/2 cob of corn, 1/2 onion, and then seafood per person, so just add what you can. Personally, I could eat 2 lobster tails, my dad 1 lb or more shrimp, and my best friend, all the mussels, so just do a little of everything, and I think they will be all very happy. Now, it sounds like a lot, but the entire dinner cooked in one pot. Just melt some butter, cocktail sauce on the side and a some grilled or baked bread. Cover your table with newspaper and pour it all in the center and let everyone just help themselves. Simple paper plates. We eat everything with plastic, except for a crab cracker and small pick to get the crab meat out. Rolls of paper towels on the table and just relax and have fun. You can also add some sour cream for the potatoes, salt and pepper of course and maybe some dijon mustard for the sausage if you wanted, but there is so much flavor I never find that necessary, but add what you like. Don't try to make it fancy ... just enjoy. When done, pack up the leftovers and plates right in the center of the table, wrap up the newspaper and throw away. NO DISHES!!
- 6 large sweet onions, cut in half
- 6 cobs sweet corn, cleaned and cut in half (I like white corn, but get what looks good)
- 36 medium red potatoes
- 12 sausage links, cut in 1/3 's
- 2 (11 ounce) boxes frozen artichoke hearts
- 3 lbs mussels
- 3 lbs clams
- 5 lbs snow crabs
- 4 lobster tails (you can add more or less if you want)
- 4 lbs large shrimp, peels and tails on
- 4 lemons, cut in quarters
- 3 (12 ounce) bottles beer (now I just use miller or any inexpensive beer, you can always use water, I just like the flavor of t)
- Old Bay Seasoning (3/4 cup Old Bay to 6 quarts of water, the amount of water depends on how many ingredients. I try to )
- Method -- The only method to this is layering, One or two layers of an ingredient, cook a bit, then the next layers, cook, etc., it is very easy. Drain, serve and enjoy! The only prep, is cutting the onions and lemons. When I buy my seafood, I also make sure the fish guy cleans my mussels and clams so I don't have to worry about that when I get home, but I do rinse them just to be safe but I don't have to clean them, just a quick rinse is all they need. The rest you can just throw inches.
- Rinse and brush your potatoes well. Now large ones, I cut in half, medium to small, I just leave whole, either way. Cut the large onions in half, thaw the artichokes and quarter your lemons.
- Boiling Liquid -- Add the beer and water to equal 6 quarts along with 3/4 cups Old Bay and bring to a boil.
- As it starts to boil reduce the heat to medium high and add in the onions and potatoes and cover. Add 1-2 lemon wedges. Cook 5-7 minutes.
- Then add in the corn (cobs cut in half, silk cleaned), also the sausage links cut in 1/2 or 1/3'rds, cover again for 5-7 minutes.
- Then add in the artichokes and a couple lemon wedges, topped with lobster, mussels, clams, crab and more lemon and cover again, about 10 more minutes until the mussels and clams begin to open.
- If you need more water, add another 3 quarts and 2/3 cup Old Bay and turn to high and bring to a boil, covered, and then reduce back to medium. Just keep an eye on the clams and mussels. When they start to open is when you want to add the shrimp.
- Add the shrimp and the remaining lemon wedges, squeeze a couple on top of the shrimp, cover, and cook until the shrimp are pink and they begin to curl.
- Turn off the heat. DONE! Just lift up the strainer, or drain if just using a pot on the stove or grill and pour everything on the table.
- It is the best meal ever, and fun. Now, I make a spicy cocktail sauce and a garlic herb butter, but use what you like. Grill or just bake some bread to soak up the butter sauce and enjoy with the seafood. I served some roasted tomato soup with this once which was really good and then just a fresh tomato bread salad another time, so please serve what you like, but it is so much fun. And I say this serves 6 possible 8-10 depending of your guests, so have fun what you add.