Shrimp & Grits

Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and I thought it would be fun to make a traditional creole dish. Now I know a lot of you readers are not from the south, but trust me, all you need is Shrimp & Grits. Even my skeptical Kansas Princess agreed Shrimp & Grits is a great dish.

Mind you, I have never made shrimp & grits until now, only ordered it in seafood restaurants of the south. When I don't have a recipe, the first place I turn is to the good folks at Bon Appetite, they never fail to provide. I pulled this recipe from their website, and made a few minor adjustments.

INGREDIENTS

GRITS

  • 1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

SHRIMP

  • 1/2 cup 1/3" cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon (if you don't live on the Gulf Coast you're going to have trouble finding the tasso, and andouille sausage, I used thickly sliced hickory smoked bacon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 lb of shrimp peeled, deveined (be sure they are wild caught you don't even want to know about the farm raised shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup Abita Beer
  • 1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Shrimp_02.jpg

PREPARATION

GRITS

  • Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits.

  • Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken.

  • Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour.

  • Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream.

  • Season with salt and pepper. 

  • Make sure to keep the grits warm they will set into a mold if allowed to cool.

SHRIMP

  • Cook bacon on a broiler pan in the over at 35o degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow bacon to cool, and chop into 1/2" pieces.
  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté until fat begins to render. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

  • Divide grits among (4) bowls. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

I hope that all of you who have never had shrimp & grits will give this recipe a try. It really is one of the great dishes of the south.

Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!                    

-Nate