sheet pan low country boil
If you’re lucky enough to have spent any time in coastal Carolina, you’ll know that a Low Country boil usually involves a giant stockpot of boiling water, lemons and crab boil seasoning sitting atop a propane tank-saddled burner during the warmer months. However, enjoying the flavors of a classic Low Country boil shouldn’t have so many barriers to entry.
Not having special equipment, appropriate weather, or a gaggle of your closest pals should never inhibit a good meal. In fact, not cooking for a crowd outdoors can work to your benefit — you can save time and cleanup effort by preparing all the components of a Low Country boil on a single sheet pan. You won’t even need to bother lining your table with newspaper.
First, it’s important to understand that although all the ingredients are contained to one convenient vessel, all of the ingredients require different amounts of cooking time. A hard tuber like a potato needs significantly longer time in the oven than a delicate shrimp. To accommodate this, roast the potatoes for 20 minutes before adding any of the remaining ingredients to the sheet pan. Don’t go too crazy with the seasoning here — just a little olive oil, salt and pepper — because the seafood seasoning will bring a hefty amount of salt and spice.
Next, make certain all the remaining ingredients are cut into manageable, bite-sized pieces so that they cook evenly and efficiently. Once the potatoes have softened, add the sausage, shrimp and corn to the sheet pan. Sprinkle the Old Bay over all the ingredients, then toss them in the remaining olive oil on the sheet pan. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the corn is tender and shrimp are opaque, 10 to 12 minutes.
Roasting the ingredients in a dry heat environment brings out more depth of flavor than boiling or steaming; however, if you crave more moisture out of your Low Country boil, you can still use the sheet pan method with some slight adjustments. Once you add the corn, sausage, shrimp and Old Bay, add a cup of water and possibly a few glugs of light beer. Seal the entire pan with aluminum foil and give those crustaceans a brief schvitz until they are cooked through.
For a final touch, make a quick garlic butter by melting unsalted butter in a saucepan or the microwave with one clove of finely minced garlic. If the garlic is small enough, the heat required to melt the butter should settle some of the allium’s signature punch. Pour the butter over all the ingredients and toss so they can soak up some of the richness. Squeeze some fresh lemon over the top if you wish, and get ready to tuck into one of the South’s greatest culinary pleasures.
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