When we were in Georgia a few months ago, I sampled ‘Shrimp ‘n’ Grits’ for the first time. It’s pretty much a Southern staple. I was never a fan of grits but I really enjoy sampling local foods when we travel and once I tried them like this I was hooked.
The following recipe is a meld of several offerings I found on various websites. You can make this with plain XL/Jumbo shrimp, sauteed; only half a dozen per person is needed if they are a good size. The shrimp, not the guests. Choose fresh ones (shrimp) and devein them (it just takes a few seconds).
All you need is:
Box of grits
2/3rds cup low sodium chicken stock
24 Jumbo shrimp
A few slices of lean bacon (optional but recommended)
One lemon, salt and pepper, a TBSP of butter, 1 – 2 garlic cloves
OLD BAY Blackening Seasoning
1 small red pepper
Serve with a crispy salad and light dressing.
The perfect Summer Supper.
Blackened Shrimp and Grits:
Cook grits following the package directions. Instead of water, I like to use low sodium chicken stock for more flavor. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spritzed with non-stick cooking spray. Once cooked, add salt and black pepper and a gob of butter to marry in with the grits. Stir. (Some people like to add 1/4 cup of parmesan but I prefer plain grits).
Pour grits onto cookie sheet, smooth them out into an even layer (cover with plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours until firm. Overnight works too. Then cut them into 2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter (about 16 cakes) and put them back in the fridge.
Toss the shrimp in a bowl with a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, place in fridge. Walk the dog. Swig some Southern Tea. (Recipe below). Now you’re all relaxed and ready to start the sauce:
Saute a few strips of chopped lean bacon and a finely diced red bell pepper over medium heat with 2 chopped scallions, 2 cloves chopped garlic and a quarter cup of flour. Some people like to add a few globs of tomato sauce. Saute for about 3 – 4 minutes. Add 1/2 – 2/3 cup chicken stock and simmer until sauce thickens.
Next, pat-dry the shrimp and sprinkle with OLD BAY Blackening powder. Saute for 3 – 4 minutes in a lightly sprayed pan (or a gob of butter).
While you’re cooking the sauce, pop the grit cakes in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Spoon the sauce over them and place 2 – 3 shrimps on each one, garnish with the sauce and parsley. Two cakes and 4 – 6 shrimp will be PLENTY per person. Trust me on this.
To top it off, you’ll need a long tall swig of this cool drink.
Very Southern. Very refreshing. Enjoy!
Southern Sweet Tea.
To make a gallon, you’ll need:
6 quality tea bags (Tetley or Lipton are my faves)
1 gallon boiling hot water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
A coupla lemons
Pour the hot water in a pitcher, add sugar and stir until it’s dissolved, toss in tea bags, let steep, chill for 2 – 3 hours.
Let the tea mixture chill too. Then slap on some sunscreen and recline in the sunshine and enjoy slopping it all down your top with ice and lemon slices and soak up the compliments from your guests.
I do miss living in the North but I do love living in the South.