Shrimp & grits is a dish that’s gone from the mundane to haute cuisine in just a decade or so. My rendition is a bow to the famed version at City Grocery on Mr. Faulkner’s fabled Square in Oxford, Miss., although I’ve always thought City Grocery’s was too pepper-hot. I’ve adjusted this one accordingly.
The recipe is a perfect entree for 4, plus french bread and a tasty salad.
- chopping board and knife
- measuring equipment
- iron skillet
- medium sauce pan
- wooden spoons
- metal whisk
- extra mixing bowls or plates
- 1 cup 5-minute grits
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup grated, sharp cheddar cheese (white or yellow)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped smoked Gouda
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- Salt/pepper to taste
- 2 cups chopped, smoked bacon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds raw, 26-30 count shrimp, peeled
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons white wine (or 1 tablespoon rice vinegar)
- 2 cups sliced green onions
LET’S GET STARTED
In sauce pan with lid, cook grits according to package instructions, except salt. (Whisk in grits, then whisk again after about 3 minutes. Be careful because this stuff “pops” when it boils and it can hurt!)
Whisk in butter, cheeses, cream and spices. Mix thoroughly and season with salt/pepper to taste.
In a large iron skillet, cook bacon until it begins to brown.
Remove it from the heat onto a plate or to a large bowl, and reserve bacon and drippings. Bring skillet heat back to very hot. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons bacon grease.
As oils begin to smoke, toss in shrimp to cover pan bottom. Season with salt/pepper. Then stir until shrimp begin to turn pink all over. Remove shrimp to a plate or bowl.
Let pan return to original heat, then toss in garlic. Be careful not to burn. Add mushrooms and quickly coat with oil. Add lemon juice and wine/vinegar. Stir until everything is well coated, about 2 minutes.
Toss in green onions and stir about 1 minute.
Return shrimp to skillet mixture and turn off the heat.
Pour a generous amount of creamy grits, then top with shrimp/mushroom mixture. Serves 4.
Come back to NewinNOLA.com every week for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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