Friday, August 9, 2013

Frogmore Stew Night

Frogmore Stew originated in the Low Country of South Carolina.  Legend has it that a shrimper was short of food and couldn't decide what to cook for dinner.  He chose to boil red potatoes, sausage, and corn.  He added shrimp since that was plentiful along the coastal region.  Frogmore Stew may be called by many other name but for the die-hards, there is only one name.

Frogmore is an unincorporated community on St. Helena Island in Beaufort County in South Carolina.  It is not even a blip on the map.  Frogmore is known for Penn School where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. studied and lectured at Penn Center during his formative years as a civil right leader.  It is said that he worked on his "I have a Dream" speech at the Penn Center.

My husband asked if I was going to have frogs in this stew.  Give me a break!  When my granddaughter found out that we were going to Frogmore stew for dinner, she sided with her grandfather and wanted to be assured that there wasn't going to be any frogs in the stew.

For my husband, myself, and granddaughter, I boiled in water and vinegar 1 and 1/2 lbs of fresh Mayport shrimp with heads still on them.  I added lots of dill and Old Bay Seasoning..  I let the shrimp boil/simmer until pink.and set aside to cool for peeling later.  I reserved the liquid for stock.

I also boiled peeled potatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size.  While the potatoes were boiling, I cut spicy sausage into hefty bite size pieces that I stir fried in Canola oil.

In a large pot, I finally combined the shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and stock as needed.  When it began to boil, I added halved ears of corn and let it boil/simmer for a few minutes.  This delicious stew was served with home made bread.

On the way home from our road trip, we stopped at the Pee Dee Farmers Market on Route 58 off I-95 and among fruit, plants, and pottery there was a stand with wines, vinegars, and ciders.  I picked up a bottle of Southern Sunshine Semi-Dry South Carolina Muscadine wine that was proudly produced, vinted, and bottled by the Hyman Vineyards in Conway SC and I was assured that it would go well with Frogmore stew.

If we were to continue on Route 58, we would reach Cheraw, the birthplace of the extraordinary jazz giant--Dizzy Gillespie.  His music adds ambiance to any evening.

We enjoyed the Frogmore stew, the wine, and listening to Dizzy Gillespy playing his crazy bent up horn like no other.  In the heat of the summer, I had goose bumps.  Sweet mercy, what a night!

Have a great weekend!

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