Pic: Dad and his kids...son-in-law and grand-doggie included!
I think my husband and I, and my parents, and most people now that I think about it, relate food that they love with times, places and events in their lives. My parents honeymooned in Canada, via a good 'ol fashioned road trip. While driving through the Gaspe Peninsula in the middle-of-nowhere Quebec (honestly...google it...it's like the edge of the world...but beautiful of course) they stopped at this restaurant called Mona's. My father had the bouillabaisse and has never been the same since. Any time he sees a fish stew of any shape or form on a menu he orders it. So while I was walking through the Reading Terminal Market, perusing the beautiful seafood, I thought of his love for bouillabaisse. Yes, I probably should have made a traditional, tomato based fish stew for him, but instead, taking inspiration from the fact that Father's Day was also the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, I opted to make a low-country style seafood boil...and he couldn't have been happier with it.
It wasn't exactly the kind of meal you eat with a knife and fork. It's messy (in fact, my mom gave us each cute little washcloths so we could clean up our grubby fingers and faces mid-meal...genius!...and come on...only a mother would think of that right?), it lacks any beauty of presentation and you have to work at it...BUT...it's the perfect meal for dad...any dad. I mean, honestly, what guy doesn't like cold beer, pick and peel shrimp, corn on the cob, spicy sausage and slurping crab bits out of the shell? That sure sounds like heaven to me.
So make this before summer passes you by. If you eat it indoors, you might want to take my mother's advice and hand out washcloths. If you eat it outside, you might want to wear your bathing suit and just pass around the hose around.
Low Country Boil:
4 ears of corn on the cobb
12 - 15 red, new-potatoes
1 large onion cut in large chunks
approx. 1/4 cup of old bay seasoning
2 - 3 links of a spicy sausage cut in large pieces (I used Andouille)
3 dozen cherrystone clams
1 1/2 pounds of jumbo shrimp(raw, shell on, heads on if you're lucky enough to find them!)
1 - 1 1/2 pounds of snow crab claw broken pieces(these are so much cheaper than the jumbo, whole claws and there is still plenty of meat in them...you can use whole Maryland blue crabs if you feel like putting in the work to crack them open)
Bring a large pot (make sure the pot is large enough to fit all ingredients comfortably) of water to a simmer. Add the old bay, the onion, the sausage and the potatoes. Cook for 10 mins. Next add the corn. Cook for 15 more mins. Finally, add the seafood and cook until clams open and the shrimp just turns pink (about 3 mins). Remove from the heat...discard most of the cooking liquid...dump contents onto large serving platter...dig in with both hands.