Frogmore stew, for which South Carolina is known, gets its name from the town of Frogmore, S.C.
Readers not only know its origin, they also know how to cook it. Betty Thompson asked for their help with a recipe. A friend of hers went to a party where Frogmore stew was being served, and Thompson wanted to know more about the dish.
"We lived in Beaufort, S.C., for nine years. Frogmore is a small community just over the bridge from Beaufort on a barrier island," a reader named Judy said. "Frogmore stew became a staple for us whenever we had family or other company come to the Low Country (which was very often). This is the easiest and most popular meal I ever served to my guests.
"I still do it now for our snowbird visitors because it does so well in a large group with little effort. All is served very casually on either a big washable tablecloth or newspapers spread out on the tables. Have lots of extra paper plates to take up the shells during dinner. Makes for a really fun evening," Judy said. "The recipe is just as casual. The original recipe has no exact measurements. Just use common sense and it will turn out great no matter what."
In a very large pot, boil sliced onions in water seasoned with lots (and I mean lots -- just dump it in) of Old Bay Seasoning for 10 minutes.
Add new potatoes (cut in half or not), boil 10 minutes. Then add beef sausage (kielbasa) sliced in 2- to 3-inch lengths and boil for 10 minutes. Add corn on the cob (at least 1 ear per person) and boil for 10 minutes.
Because I have grandchildren who love crab legs, I always include them at this point and let them
cook for 10 minutes, but this is optional of course.
Then add the shrimp (which is the real reason we had this dish in Beaufort because they were so abundant). Cook for 5 minutes.
Drain the pot and (with the help of tongs) remove the contents of the pot to large platters. I usually serve it with slaw and corn bread, lots of napkins, hot sauce, shrimp sauce, butter for the crabs and beer. It was great that everyone liked hanging around the kitchen watching the process.
-- Submitted by Judy
From Becky Rogers: "Frogmore stew is the same as Low Country boil or shrimp boil along the Mississippi Coast where shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, okra, mushrooms, onions, lemons or whatever you want goes in the pot with crab boil and other seasoning you desire."
Floyd D. and Frances A. Edmisten of Gautier sent in this recipe, which includes measurements.
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 pounds small red potatoes
1 pound kielbasa or other smoked link sausage, cut into 1- 1/2-inch slices
3 ears corn, halved
2 pounds unpeeled large shrimp
Fill a large pot with water and add Old Bay Seasoning. Bring to a boil.
Add potatoes, return to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add sausage and corn; return to boil and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add shrimp and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until pink. Remove all with a slotted spoon onto a serving platter or newspaper-lined table. Serve with additional Old Bay Seasoning to sprinkle over all and cocktail sauce.
Makes 6 servings.
-- Submitted by Floyd D. and Frances A. Edmisten
"I got this classic recipe for this dish from my friend Sally Haley in Beaufort, S.C.," Lake Andrews of Ocean Springs said. "She adds small new potatoes and puts them in the boiling water first for 5 minutes before she adds the sausages.
"She also suggests that you can make soup out of the leftovers. Cut the corn off the cob, peel the shrimp, slice the sausages thinly, add some of the leftover water, chicken stock, or tomato juice," Andrews said. "Another friend served the leftovers the next morning by cutting the corn off the cob, slicing the sausage, peeling the shrimp and serving it over stone grits. She fried up a piece of country ham, served that, too, and put the drippings in the grits mixture. What's not to love about these ingredients? I'm sure your readers have combined them in many ways."
3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoons salt
1- 1/2 gallons of water
2 pounds of link sausage or kielbasa in 2- or 3-inch pieces
12 ears of corn, each cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
4 pounds of shrimp
In a large stockpot, add the seasonings to the water. Bring it to a boil. Add sausages and boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Add corn and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and count another 3 minutes. Don't wait for the water to return to a boil each time. Drain and serve while hot. Serves 8.
Tips: Spread newspaper on a large table and bring a roll of paper towels and discard bowls for shrimp shells.
-- Submitted by Lake Andrews
Green chile found
Readers have found two restaurants in the Bradenton-Sarasota area that serve green chile. Dan and Pam Hyndman, who recently moved to the area, have been missing a good green chile.
"El Toro Bravo in Sarasota is a small family owned restaurant that serves authentic Southwestern cuisine," said Sally Beyer of Sarasota. "They serve the real green (and red) chile that the Hyndmans are craving. The green chile is from New Mexico. We were very glad to find these flavors again so close to home; we have enjoyed many good meals there."
An anonymous Florida reader likes a new place on Anna Maria Island that has carnitas made with pork and also sells salsa verde. It is Poppo's Taqueria on Pine Avenue.
Toucan's recipes, please
"We all miss Toucan's Restaurant in Gulfport, Miss," a reader named Lynne said. "Another delicious recipe and a favorite was a crawfish enchiladas with a mild white sauce that was to die for. Perhaps owners now living in Gulfport would share that recipe also."
Lynne is in luck. I have an Enola Prudhomme crawfish enchilada recipe that is similar to Toucan's. My husband and I ate there often, and I loved their crawfish enchiladas, too. This enchilada recipe also is a lighter-than-usual enchilada recipe.
ENOLA'S CRAWFISH ENCHILADAS
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1- 1/2 cups evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup reduced-calorie soft-style cream cheese
2/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup peeled crawfish tails
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
4 corn tortillas
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, cream cheese and cottage cheese; cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the oregano, salt and white pepper; cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.
Add the crawfish, green onions and jalapenos; simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add half the mozzarella and cook for 1 minute. Set aside.
In a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat, brown the tortillas for 1 minutes on each side. Place each tortilla on a serving plate and divide the crawfish-cheese filling into equal portions and spoon into the middle of each tortilla; fold the torillas in thirds across the filling and turn them seam side down. Top with the remaining filling, sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella cheese and serve immediately.
-- From "Enola Prudhomme's Low-Calorie Cajun Cooking"
Please send in your best shrimp salad and gumbo recipes. Readers, see what you can find.
Fried pies, anyone?
A reader is looking for an old-time fried pie recipe like her grandmother used to make. She said her grandmother used fruit fillings: apple, peach or apricot. Look through those old cookbooks and see what you can find.
Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.