cafela: (Default)
The first time I made Shrimp & Grits, I came pretty close to winging the recipe. I knew how to cook everything individually, but I wasn't sure how much of what to use. The first recipe turned out tasty, and is still a solid recipe, but it had a lot of steps, and I wanted to simplify it. So last night, when I decide to make it again, I tried a couple of different things, and it made a huge difference--and the flavor was possibly even better.

The biggest breakthrough was probably in the grits. My husband suggested I look up recipes for "Charleston grits" which is the name they go by at a couple of restaurants. I was really surprised to see cream or half and half as a component, b/c all my life, grits have only ever been made with water. But as it turns out, it made a huge difference.

So here you are--updated Shrimp & Grits!

For the cheese grits
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned grits (NOT instant)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup water
2 cups chicken broth
1 tb salt
ground black pepper, to taste (about 1 tsp)
1 tb butter
2 oz Boursin cheese (I use the herbs flavor)
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

For the shrimp
4-6 slices bacon, diced into squares
1/2 shallot, minced
1 small tomato, diced (or a large handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half)
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash of white wine
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tb lemon juice
1 lb shrimp, peeled

For the sauce/gravy
drippings from the shrimp mixture
2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tb COLD water

In a pot, combine the grits, cream, water, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium. Once the grits start to thicken, add the boursin cheese and the butter. Once the grits are thick, add the rest of the cheese; stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium low until they reach desired thickness.

While the grits cook, cook the diced bacon in a medium to large size skillet. Once the bacon is mostly cooked, add the shallot. Let cook for a minute or so, then add the diced tomato and the garlic. Let this cook until the tomatoes look mostly cooked, then add your splash of white wine, as well as 1 tsp of the garlic salt. Stir. Add the shrimp, and sprinkle them with the remaining ingredients (the rest of the garlic salt, the Old Bay, and the lemon juice). Cook until done.

Use a slotted spoon or sieve to remove the shrimp/tomato/bacon mixture and put in a bowl, leaving the juice behind in the skillet. Add the cornstarch/water mixture, bring to a simmer until the sauce thickens.

Plate with grits first, then shrimp mixture, and finish with the gravy. If you want, you can top with a little more parmesan cheese.

April 2014

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