Monday, October 05, 2009

Shrimp and Grits


This is a classic low country (South Carolina) cuisine dish. The region is best known for its use of local, fresh seafood, local vegetables such as okra, sweet potatoes, and squashes, rice, and other grains. Debate rages as to what constitutes low country cuisine similar to the ongoing debate in Texas of what constitutes barbecue. There are multiple answers and many who cling to their interpretation with tenacity. It is most likely a question that will never be completely answered and that's not necessarily bad. But I digress, back to the recipe. Made with fresh ingredients it is as satisfying as it is simple. I have seen variations that include tomatoes, corn, or both but the recipe below is a straight forward rendition. Served with a rustic, crusty bread this dish is hard to beat.

2 cups Chicken Stock, unsalted
1 cup Water
1-1/8 cup Grits, as far as I'm concerned you may use quick cooking grits but try to avoid instant

~ Stir grits into boiling water and cook until creamy
~ To the cooked grits add in:

2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese

~ Stir until butter and cheese are incorporated, correct seasoning with salt and white pepper. Set aside and keep warm for use at plating

1-1/2 pounds Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 pieces Bacon, cooked and chopped, reserve bacon grease (2 Tbl.) for use later
3 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic
2 ounces White Wine
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/2 to 1 cup Chicken Stock, unsalted
Chopped Parsley
Chopped Green Onion

~ Heat bacon grease and garlic in a sauté pan on medium high heat
~ Add in flour and bacon and cook this quick roux for 1 to 2 minutes
~ Add wine and cook for an additional minute
~ Add chicken stock, this will create a slightly thickened sauce. You want the sauce thicker than water and thinner than gravy
~ Cook mixture 2 to 3 minutes
~ Add in shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked
~ Add in parsley and onion for the last minute of cooking

You are now ready to plate the dish. Grab your grits and lets get going..........

~ Spoon grits on plate or bowl
~ Place shrimp in the center of the grits
~ Spoon sauce on top of shrimp


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