Monday, August 27, 2012

Low-Country Boil - Part 1 - Appetizers

I love to embrace the culture and traditions of where ever I am.  I’ve been living in the South for about 4 years now and have never been to a true seafood boil -- so I decided to throw one!  I’m definitely not an authority on Southern style food, so a lot of research was put into the recipes I used, with my own little tweaks here and there!  Throughout the week, I’m going to show you how I put together this fun and interactive party -- everything from the decor, to the supplies to the recipes.  Today, I’m starting with the appetizers and my new favorite drink: the SkinnyChow Spiked Arnold Palmer.  Wednesday will showcase the Seafood Boil and special sauces I served with it and Thursday will be desserts and decor/DIY.  This was one of the most detailed parties I’ve thrown but I’m here to show you that with proper planning anyone can throw a perfect and authentic Low-Country Boil!  

On to the apps:  Spicy Cheese Straws, MiniChow Crab & Shrimp Rolls & Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters

Spicy Cheese Straws
adapted from the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

1 1/2 c. (about 4 ounces) grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 c. all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp (or more to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp half and half

  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except half and half and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the half and half and process until dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into an 8 X10 inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick.  With a sharp knife, cut dough into long thin strips and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet.  The straws can be any length so don’t worry if they break.  
  4. Bake straws for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned.  Remove from oven and cool.  Serve at room temp.

MiniChow Crab & Shrimp Rolls (makes 24 mini rolls)

1 c. homemade mayo
2 tsp capers, drained and chopped
2 tsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
6 slices high quality bacon
2 long soft baguettes, sliced into 12 three inch thick slices then sliced down the middle
1 lb cooked shrimp (any size) chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb lump crabmeat, picked over

  1. In a small bowl, combine mayo, capers, parsley and mix to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  3. Crumble bacon and add to mayo mixture.  Fold in shrimp and crabmeat into mayo mixture gently, being careful not to break up the crab too much.  Divide shrimp mixture between rolls and sprinkle with parsley if desired.  Serve.

Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters (makes 18 shooters)

18 shot glasses of any size
18 medium sized fresh oysters, shucked and in their liquor
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 c. Absolute Peppar vodka, plus more for topping off
2 c. good quality bloody mary mix (We used Bloody Bold)

  1. Place shucked oysters, liquor, lemon juice and vodka in a bowl and stir to combine.  Place in fridge and marinate for 1 hour.  (This “cooks” the oysters, ceviche-style)
  2. Place 1 oyster in each shot glass and add bloody mary mix until glass is 3/4 full.  Top each glass off with vodka, stir if desired (I happen to like the layered look but remember you’ll get a mouthful of vodka when you take the shot -- this is why it’s important to use a quality vodka).  Refrigerate until ready to serve, no longer than 4 hours.

SkinnyChow Spiked Arnold Palmers (makes 2 gallons)

1 1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 c. boiling water
12 tea bags
1 c. Skinny Simple Syrup
2 c. lemon infused vodka, or to taste
cold water

  1. Start with a 2 gallon drink dispenser to make the measuring easy.  Add the 6 c. boiling water to the dispenser and add the 12 tea bags.  Let steep for 5-6 minutes.  Remove tea bags and let mixture cool.
  2. Add lemon juice to the tea mixture then add to the Skinny Simple Syrup (1 c. Splenda and 1 c. water, mixed until the splenda dissolves)
  3. For the lemon vodka, I soaked all the squeezed lemons I used for the lemon juice in plain Smirnoff vodka all day, then added the 2 cups to the tea mixture.
  4. Fill the rest of the dispenser with water.  Serve with ice -- in a mason jar of course!


  1. I just want to pick up one of those crab and shrimp rolls right off the page! Everything looks yummy....hmmm...oyster shooter for breakfast? :) Can't wait to see the rest!

  2. Can you freeze these cheese straws? How long will they keep in an air tight container.

    1. I haven't tried freezing the cheese straws but I imagine you can freeze the un-baked dough just like you would any cookie dough. They keep for about a week in an air tight container


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