Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shrimp and Grits Recipe

I was born in Charleston, SC (on the peninsula for those that know what I'm talking about) and my mothers parents lived on Sullivan's Island. I have so many good memories of that whole area that is called the Lowcountry (capital L) but one over-riding all others is the smell and taste of creamy shrimp and grits (I didn't move to the midwest until after college). The shrimp need to be still kicking, bought out of a cooler on the side of the road from a local old man and the grits should NEVER be instant or quick. Might as well just go eat at McDonald's if you aren't going to do the recipe justice. OK, you can use store bought shrimp, but for Pete's sake, buy the stone-ground grits.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, halved lengthwise, and de-veined if you wish
  • 1 Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
  • 6 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small green onion, finely chopped (save some for garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated medium to sharp Cheddar cheese
Combine the shrimp with the lemon juice and a couple of generous splashes of hot pepper sauce. Let sit while you begin the grits and gravy.  Make the grits in a large heavy saucepan, first bringing 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. (They will bubble up initially.) When you have added all the grits, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end. While the grits simmer, get the gravy under way. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown but still limp. Stir in the onion and garlic and continue cooking until the onion are limp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and continue sauteing for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the stock and remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat while you finish the grits. When the grits are thick and creamy, stir in as much of the butter as you wish, followed by the cheese. Add a splash of hot pepper sauce and additional salt if you like. Cover the grits while you finish the gravy. Return the gravy to medium heat and stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, mounding the grits in large shallow bowls or on plates and covering them with shrimp and gravy. Garnish with chopped green onion and a little of the grated cheese. SERVES 4.

2 comments:

Don said...

Uh-oh. the wife saw the Shrimp & grits recipe. Looks like we'll be trying that one this weekend. Thanks. we'll let you know how it turns out.

sobriant74 said...

That's how I roll; always looking for the next married couple to force my culinary delights upon. ;)
Good luck and buen provecho!