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Lance Cpl. Katelyn Smith, 2d Marine Division

Length of Service: 1 year

Hometown: Manassas, Georgia

What do you enjoy most about cooking?

“Probably the fact that you can put anything together. You can have fun with your product. I like adding spices and presentation is important. I like to have pride in my product. If you have mashed potatoes you don’t need to just lay them out. You can have a design on top and add a little parsley or paprika to them.”

What influenced you to become a cook?

“Originally I did not want to be a cook but I came in with an open mind and I’m excited about it. Cooking is like a whole new world for me. This is my first experience (cooking professionally). Before it was just pizza rolls and Pop-Tarts.”

What’s your favorite type of dish?

“I’d say starches. Everyone likes pasta. You can do so many different things with pasta. I play with the spices but my favorite, to make and to eat, is chicken alfredo. I love everything about it.”

What’s one thing people should have in their kitchens?

“A good sharp knife can be used for a lot of things. Other than that, probably a steamer. You can use it as an oven. You can use it in the place of a braiser or anything. You can boil eggs, heat up leftovers or steam really soft rice.”

What do you like most about the recipe you’re providing?

“So, depending on weather, you can cook this recipe pretty much anywhere. When you explain it, most people will automatically assume a low country boil is an outdoor only type of cook but it’s actually just as easy to take care of it inside. I think my favorite thing about the dish is that it’s super simple. You add ingredients as you go. It tastes amazing with all the different parts adding up and it’s something my family always passes down to the younger generations. It’s so simple that (younger people) can retain it easily. It’s always a favorite meal to be cooked when all the family gets together since everyone loves it.”

What advice do you have for amateur chefs?

“Stay open-minded. Be open for anything and everything. You never know what you might like cooking or eating.”

Low Country Boil

Ingredients

4 lbs potatoes

6 ears of corn

1 lb of sausage

3 lbs shrimp

1 bag crab boil seasoning

1 large sweet Vidalia onion

Butter (for dipping)

INSTRUCTIONS

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: about 30 minutes,

Yields 10-12 servings

1. Slice the sausage into rings and halve your ears of corn.

2. In a very large stockpot, boil about 7 gallons of water with the packet of crab boil seasoning and the vidalia onion..

3. Add the potatoes and bring back to a boil for 10 minutes.

4. Add the halved ears of corn and bring back to a boil.

5. Add cut sausage and bring back to a boil.

6. Add shrimp for four minutes, then remove from heat.

7. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.

8. Drain your mixture and it is ready to serve.

*Chef’s note: “After it is finished, it is tradition to dump the boil on a table (over a table cloth). Everyone can come grab what they want from the pile and pick and choose as they please. It makes it perfect for a family function.”