Saturday, August 27, 2011

FoodBuzz 24x24: C'mon Y'all... It's a Low Country Boil!

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Living in Chicago has it's perks... the food scene, the urban vibe, the diversity and culture, etc. But despite all the wonderful things we have here, it would be nice to experience some fun times that other folks around the country do. With that in mind, we wanted to host a special meal that isn't very common up here in the Midwest, yet introduce something fun, different and delicious to our guests! My husband I gathered some of our friends and we brought a taste of the Coastal South to our little urban oasis. So C'mon Y'all... It's a Low Country Boil!

My husband is a big fan of shrimp and I wanted to prepare shrimp in a more fun way. Rather than resorting to the usual entertaining themes I've done, I looked to the South for some inspiration. That's when I learned all about Low Country Boils. Low Country Boils are a very casual dining event where a large pot of seasoned water cooks an entire meal of potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage and of course, lots of shrimp. Little did I realize how much fun and how easy it was to throw a Low Country Boil!

To make our event even more special, FoodBuzz is featuring our C'mon Y'all... It's a Low Country Boil! Party for their August 24x24 Food Event. The FoodBuzz's 24x24 Food Event showcases food blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers of 24 unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. I was thrilled to be featured this month!
 

We originally wanted to host our Low Country Boil outdoors, but due to the unpredictable weather here in Chicago, we decided it would be best to have the party indoors with air conditioning. I would love to do this again outdoors next time!

For our table setting, I wanted it to be casual yet elegant. Traditional low country boils are served directly on newspaper or in large platters, often on festive red and white checkered tablecloths. Well, I combined the two ideas by lining the end of our dining table with newspapers and the center of our dining table with a neutral tablecloth. I used red plate chargers for each place setting, which gave a pop of color. There wasn't a need for any centerpieces, since the food was the main attraction on the table.

Presented in traditional fashion down the center of the table, we served up our low country boil on large long platters, all mixed up and had garnishes of lemon halves and cocktail sauces nearby.  The side dishes were scattered across the table and everything was served family style. In the background, we even had country music playing to add to the ambiance.

While we waited for all our guests to arrive, the rest of our guests hung out in our living room and enjoyed the stuffed mushroom appetizers I made. We also set up a separate drink station where we had sweetened iced tea and freshly squeezed lemonade available. Having a separate drink station was convenient and worked out well since our dining table was full of so much food!

Finally, all our guests arrived and it was time to eat! After much tweaking, I decided on a few side dishes to accompany our Low Country Boil and serve our party of 8. Technically, a Low Country Boil is a meal in itself but I added a few side dishes including...

Stuffed Mushrooms
 
Cajun Coleslaw


Red Beans & Rice


Apple Slice


So if you have a hankering for a unique meal to serve up for friends and family, try a taste of the Coastal South with a Low Country Boil. It couldn't be any easier with cooking everything in one large pot and having everyone dig in! Stay tuned all this week for recipes from our C'mon Y'all... It's a Low Country Boil! Party...

Full Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a stipend from FoodBuzz for hosting this event.

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