Well, here we are, nearly at mid-September, and soon the hot lazy days of summer will fade into cool, crisp fall mornings and evenings. The opportunities of going out and getting fresh tomatoes and okra out of the garden will be over soon. My family and I love summer, and on one hand hate to see it end. But we also love fall and look forward to the cooler temps, hunting, football, and God’s glorious colorful fall landscape. So for one last hoorah of summer, my wife and I came up with a summertime favorite, lowcountry boil, with a harvest time twist on it and put it on a Weber Kettle. The result was outstanding!
What you’ll need:
1/3 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
12-15 cherry tomatoes
8-10 whole, fresh pieces of okra
4-6 large slices of eggplant
1/2 pound smoked sausage, chopped
3/4-1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter
Old WoodFire Grill Seafood Seasoning (available here soon)
Cooked wholegrain rice (optional)
Start by building a medium to hot fire in your grill, around 350-400 degrees. I used the Weber Kettle for this cook, so for me that meant a whole chimney of lump charcoal, banked on one side to create a hot side and a cool side. While the fire is getting going, prep your vegetables. Slice the eggplant into 4-6 medium thickness slices. Coat the eggplant slices, tomatoes and okra with a light coat of olive oil and season lightly with Old WoodFire Grill Seafood Seasoning. In a large skillet on the stove, melt the butter and add the onion, pepper and celery. Lightly saute and then reduce the heat while the other ingredients are cooked. When the grill has come up to temp, throw a chunk of mesquite onto the coals for a little wood flavor, and cook the tomatoes and okra directly over the coals, turning often, until the skin lightly blisters on all sides. This will only take a few minutes, and you have to watch it closely so as not to burn it up.
Next, cook the eggplant slices over the coals in the same fashion.
When the vegetables have finished, coat the shrimp with olive oil and season liberally with Old WoodFire Grill Seafood Seasoning. Place the shrimp on the grate directly over the coals and cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for about two more minutes.
When the shrimp are done, bring them along with the vegetables in and slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch wide slices. Slice the okra pods in half, cutting lengthwise. Add the grilled vegetables, shrimp, smoked sausage and minced garlic to the onion, pepper and celery sautee and increase the heat to medium. Stir to mix well and let the flavors blend together. The smoky mesquite taste of the shrimp and vegetables pairs well with the buttery flavor of the onions, pepper and celery and the garlic and Old WoodFire Grill Seafood Seasoning takes it over the top! Serve on a bed of rice, if desired.