I was gonna write about the holiday season, but since this bronchitis from hell cold has taken over my life for the past week, I'm gonna write about last Christmas; food to be specific.
I'm sure most of you are busy slaving away like pigs in heat baking and cooking in your kitchens while fussing over spices and which sweet potato recipe to use off of Food Network. As for me, I'm having another untraditional food fare again this year.
It's really quite expected given the fact that my family has had it's fill of cooking for three days and engulfing the results in 20 minutes flat. All that insanity preparation for just a few minutes of pleasure doesn't seem worth it again this year.
So I'm pulling out the same recipe I followed for last years Christmas dinner in which my father proclaimed "It was one of the best Christmas dinners I've ever had!". I gloated with pride as he hovered over the table gobbling up whatever his hands could grab, because my father is a hard cookie to please in the food department sometimes.
This year's menu will be one of my family's favorites: A Low Country Boil!
It's really quite simple; all you need is a really big, BIG pot with a basket (they call it a Bayou Classic 120 quart monstrosity), a few veggies, smoked sausage, and a bunch of wiggly fresh seafood that you will inevitably wrestle into your BIG pot while trying not to get poked in the eye with a wandering crab leg or two.
The plus side to all of this: NO DISHES!!!!
This stuff is finger food folks! Anything in your pot just gets tossed onto a day-old newspaper and what doesn't get devoured before you get your share is simple wrapped up in the newspaper and given to the cats/dogs or relatives you hate tossed in the trash!
There is absolutely NO slaving over the sink and dishwasher until New Year's Eve trying to clean up the piles of dishes that you and your really crazy family members that you wish to beat into submission relatives have left behind.
Last year, Nadia and I added homemade Key Lime Pie and Coconut Cream Pie to the mix just so we could say we baked something. It made the whole thing legit after that. Bottom line: it was simple, sweet, and everyone enjoyed it immensely! So this year I'm sharing my alternative Christmas Dinner Recipe to all in hopes that I save someone else's holiday from landing in the workhorse gutter.
Dinner will happen so fast this year that their will be no time for bored family members to start picking Christmas balls off the tree and throwing them at each other out of extreme boredom.
LOW COUNTRY BOIL:
A Really Big Bayou Classic Aluminum Pot with Basket filled with boiling water (this takes about 30-45 to start boiling depending whether you are using gas or electric, cause we all know that electric stoves take for-EVER to heat up!)
Add This to Water As It Comes To A Boil:
5-6 Pieces of Garlic Smashed not Minced
3/4 cup of Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 Cup of Creole Seasoning
4 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Whole Bay Leaves
The Goodies We Are Going To Add Once It Starts Boiling:
Small Red Potatoes (about 2 per person)
Fresh corn cob cut in half (about 2 pieces per person)
Smoked Sausage (I buy the package of two for a family of 6 - you can figure from here depending how many people you have addicted to that love sausage.
Prawns (NOT Shrimp) 1 pound per 6 people - NOTE: People will be pigs with these.
Black or Green Mussles - 1/2 pound per 6 people
Longneck or Razor Clams - 1/2 pound per 6 people (count on 6 Longnecks or 4 Razors per person)
Sea Scallops - 2-3 per person - DO NOT bother with Bay Scallops as they will only get lost in the mix and you will need a magnifying glass to find one of them.
BIG HONKING Crab Legs like King or "God of the Sea" ones. - These take up a LOT of room in the end so only allow one set of claws per person.
Just use the plain old Claws of the Crab - Make sure you get the biggest and then you can allow 3-4 per person.
Crawfish - 1 pound - I'll leave this up to you if you like them. I don't put them in mine anymore since Toni and Nia ran screaming from the table one night and we had to remove them all before they would come back cause they thought I put "bugs" in the mix!
Any other seafood you deem your favorite.
Put the Goodies in THIS order for THIS amount of time:
Potatoes - 10 minutes
Corn - 10 minutes
Sausage - 10 minutes
Muscles, Crab, Crawfish - 3 minutes
Shrimp, Scallops, Clams - 3 minutes
Make sure your table is covered in newspaper - several layers cause it's gonna get wet. Have the strongest person in your family lift out the basket and RUN to the table to gently pour it out onto the newspaper. Remember: this is finger food so you really don't need anything other than a few dozen rolls of paper towels, and maybe a few paper plates and plastic forks for the classier relatives who feel that anything eaten with fingers is best left for the lesser-sorts. Remember not to invite them back next year.
Condiments to Add to the table:
4-5 Lemons cut in half and thrown on top of the pile
Extra Old Bay Seasoning to sprinkle on top for that Professional Chef look
Clarified Butter: See Here
Cocktail Sauce: Ketchup mixed with as much horserasdish sauce as you desire
Tartar Sauce: Mayo mixed with sweet pickles, mixed with minced onions, mixed with a hint of lemon juice, mixed with a dash of salt and pepper.
Salt and Pepper for those who are not on high blood pressure meds in your family
Now that I've given you my idea of a fast and easy way to feed your masses in a few days, I expect all of you to behave this Christmas. Remember women, buy only the beer that you allow the hubs to drink during the ball games. If he wants more, just explain that Walmarts was all out by the time you got there and you bought what they had left. He can't argue with that since he can't get out of his Lazyboy at that point to go buy anymore.
Make sure all the kids are complete encased in bubble wrap and are corralled into one locked room with a video game box, a TV, several bags of chips, plus ALL the toys they got for Christmas. You WILL thank me for this!
Make sure you have at least 3, count them, 3 bottles of potent alcohol wine sanctioned off for just yourselves. You WILL thank me for this too!
Did I leave anyone out?