Okay...for ya'll non-Southerners who happened by my blog yesterday, you were probably a bit surprised and perhaps nonplussed at my photo of shrimp and grits. To many, those items just don't go together. Well, dear ones, here in the South they do! Apparently Southerners are different from other folks in the country because we tend to like our grits in a savory fashion. I, along with many others, just can't possibly stand the idea of putting sugar or syrup or honey on my grits. BLECH! No sir, give me some cheese, butter and Texas Pete and I'm good to go!
Shrimp and grits was a new one on me though. Shrimp...YES! Grits....Absolutely YES! Together....yea, not so sure about that. I discovered the lovely bowl of heaven once I moved to Atlanta, so it's definitely NOT a Tennessee thing. It's a low country thing...which means coastal South Carolina and coastal Georgia. It is surprisingly easy to make and here is the recipe.
Laura B's Shrimp and Grits
3 Cups cold water
3 Cups cold water
2 Cups white, stone ground grits (NOT Instant)
1 Tbs salt
several pats of butter (unsalted)
1/2 Cup milk (I used skim milk)
1 1/2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp (I used 26-30 count shrimp)
1 small sweet onion, diced finely
1 Tbs minced garlic (I used the kind in a jar, hence the tablespoon measure)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs + 1 Tbs butter (unsalted) - divided
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbs chicken stock
Start the grits first. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the grits, whisking continuously. Stir in the salt. Lower burner to low heat and keep whisking the grits every minute or so. After 10 min, stir in a couple of pats of butter and about 1/3 of the milk. Stir in the cheese. Once cheese is melted, stir in more butter or milk based on how creamy/thick you like your grits. Remove from heat and cover.
For the shrimp, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. When the butter is melted add the onion and saute for two minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and saute for another two minutes. Once the onions are translucent, add the shrimp to the pan. Saute the shrimp until they just start turning pink. Add in the chicken stock and butter and allow sauce to reduce a little and the shrimp to cook through, stirring occasionally so that the shrimp cook evenly.
Best to serve this in shallow soup bowls. Ladle in some of the cheese grits and then spoon the shrimp and "gravy" over the grits. Add a few dashes of hot sauce, if you're so inclined. Then enjoy!!! I wouldn't be surprised if you bust out the Southern Drawl after eating a bowl of this deliciousness!
This will serve 4 adults.
If you've never worked with uncooked shrimp still in the shell, you definitely need to know how to devein the shrimp. Shrimp have a vein that run along their backs that is their digestive tract. Yup...you wanna remove that sucker before cooking. Here's a short video that I found that shows you exactly how it's done: