Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

I am claiming to be from Alabama these days even though I was born and spent most of my formative years in Virginia--hence no accent and the inability to work "y'all" into a sentence. Therefore, I'm relatively new to these things called grits. They always seemed like a big pile of mush, so I never really had any interest in them...until this recipe changed my life, that is. Luckily, it is a pretty involved process or I might make them all the time and be morbidly obese (like 50% of the South...see a pattern?). It's much more successful as a two person job, especially when someone else does 90% of the work. Thanks, Kurt!


They don't look very impressive on a plate but are amazing.

Anniversary Grits (from "Glorious Grit's: America's Favorite Comfort Food" by Susan McEwen McIntosh)
Yields 8 to 10 servings

  • 8 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups uncooked stone-ground grits
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese (or similar, we used Jarlsberg because it was cheaper)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced (x3 for Kurt)
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage (optional), sliced (we left this out to make it pescatarian friendly)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 cup less-sodium chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (use milk for a lighter version, you won't miss the cream at all)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 3 pounds large raw (we used cooked) shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine milk and salt in large, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat just until mixture starts to boil. (Be careful not to let milk boil out of the pan as it comes to a boil--it can do so quickly.) Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until thick, stirring often. Remove from heat, and add cheese, butter, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts; cover and keep warm.

While grits are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and sauté 2 minutes to soften. Add sausage, and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Add wine, and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle flour over mixture in skillet, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (Flour will start to brown.) Gradually whisk in chicken broth and cream; add bay leaves and Creole seasoning. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 7 minutes or until thick, stirring often. (Mixture may be cooked to this point, and then covered and kept warm until serving time.)

Just before serving, add shrimp to hot sauce, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink (or warm through), stirring often. Remove and discard bay leaves, and stir in parsley. Spoon shrimp and sauce over grits and serve immediately.

Be careful! They're so good, it's addicting!

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