Dinner tonight was epic. Seriously. I’ve been dreaming about a low country boil for weeks now, but not just the flavors fusing together, but enjoying it with the salty ocean air, the sound of the waves, and the openness of a housetop porch. And indeed–my prophecy has come true!
After another fabulous day at Ooh La La, our amazing beach house for the week, we enjoyed this one pot wonder just as the sun was setting. We started today at the Avon Pier, watching skilled fisherman catch buckets of fish and even some shark! Yes, the North Carolina coast has been ridden with shark incidents in recent weeks, but this was intentional baiting and catching of these dangerous creatures. No joke– it was thrilling and terrifying to see even little ones brought to the surface and hauled up to within feet of us.
We attempted to go out for lunch today since dinner was already going and the pier really made us work up an appetite. Lunch was ok– but not the local fare I was hoping for; I’m not convinced that the “Catch of the Day” didn’t arrive frozen in a box the week before. The kids didn’t want to eat their fish sticks… because they didn’t taste like the ones at home (well, duh!). So while we all enjoyed the air conditioning and endless fountain beverages, I’m not convinced it was worth it to go out to eat.
If the local restaurants aren’t appealing, make sure you stop by the local seafood markets instead– you can get fresh (never frozen) fish and creatures that came directly from the ocean. The Outer Banks is a prime location for tuna, soft-shelled crabs, shrimp, and many other options… including the sharks I mentioned before.
We then returned “home” for another afternoon of swimming. I peeled and deveined the pound of shrimp I picked up at the seafood market to add as the last step of the low country boil. Mental note to self– it is totally worth the up-charge to have someone else do this process. After removing the tubes of excrement from my crustaceans, I was no longer as excited to devour these treats of the sea. I mean, come on… I can’t unsee or unfeel that. But fresh is always the best option and local is a total perk. You’ll want your own shrimp tool to peel and devein in one swipe if you are getting fresh raw shrimp.
The Crock Pot Low Country Boil requires a few extra steps than you normally see in Dinner Is A Crock recipes, but since we were in and out of the house all day, it was not challenging at all. Again– the point of taking my crock pot to the beach was so that we could eat well without interrupting our adventures. Dinner tonight was a total success and everyone ate well after our beautiful day in the Outer Banks. If you haven’t checked out the house yet, be sure to CLICK HERE and see about planning your trip to Ooh La La.
Crock Pot Low Country Bowl
3 ears of yellow corn; peeled, cleaned and broken in half
8 baby red potatoes (golf-ball sized or smaller)
1/2 sweet onion, cut into chunks
4 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch sections
1/4 c. Old Bay Seasonings
3 springs fresh dill
1 12 oz. can of beer (I used Yeungling)
2 c. water
1 14 oz. package Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies or other cocktail links
1 lb. large fresh raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Put all of the vegetables in the crock pot with the water, seasonings and fresh dill. Add the beer. Cook on low for four hours or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add smokies or cocktail links and add another hour on low. Let the crock pot turn to the “keep warm” setting until you are close to dinner time. When ready, add the shrimp to the pot and set on high for 30 minutes– or just until the shrimp have turned pink. Drain crock pot into a strainer and shake out as much liquid as possible.
Pour the steaming awesomeness directly onto a table (covered in a plastic bag and layers of newspaper) and enjoy with your fingers. No silverware or condiments necessary.