Today I want to share a recipe that is a staple in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Shrimp and Grits. There are as many variations of this recipe as there are Bullfrogs on a hot summer night but they all have two things in common, Shrimp and Grits.
You will find it on the menus of the swankiest restaurants and hand written on the chalkboards of the lowliest diners. You will find it served at lunch and dinner but it is also a very popular breakfast and brunch item as well. This week I tried a new recipe and I have to tell you, it was FABULOUS! I found the original recipe HERE and it is the recipe of Mike Lata who is the head chef at one of Charleston's wonderful restaurants, FIG. Shrimp and Grits is not hard to make but it is a little time consuming because it takes awhile to cook the grits. At the end of the recipe, I will share a few of my own tips, so make sure you check those out!
Mike Lata’s Shrimp and GritsGRITS:
2 cups milk
1 cup fresh white grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely diced onion
3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
2 ounces diced country ham
½ cup shrimp stock or milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
6 dashes of hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the grits: Bring the milk just up to a tiny boil around the edge of a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add the grits and stir for 1 minute. Turn the heat to low. If there are any hulls, skim and remove them now using a slotted spoon. Add the butter, and stir frequently for the first 10 minutes, then stir every 10 minutes to grits are done, about 1 to 1 ½ hrs. Add more liquid if the grits are absorbing the milk. Cover between stirrings. When cream, add salt and pepper to taste.
For the shrimp: Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottom fry pan or enamel skillet. Add the onion and red pepper, cooking till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and sauté briefly. Stir in the milk or stock, scraping the sides and bottom of the skillet to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil, and cook till the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and reduce the liquid making a loose sauce. Add the shrimp, stir, and cook till the shrimp turn pink. Add the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the grits among four plates, top with the shrimp and some of the sauce. Serve immediately. If you are cooking for less than two, this dish reheats well the next day, just use separate dishes to reheat separately.
Here is a picture of MY Shrimp and Grits
Now here are my personal notes. I prefer a little more sauce, so I would add a little more heavy cream, maybe 1/2 cup and a little more hot sauce. Also, I prefer my sauce a little thicker, so I would cook the sauce a little longer before adding the shrimp. I like serving Shrimp and Grits in a bowl so you can get every last drop of that yummy sauce. I know, it's not as elegant as serving it on a plate but who cares! Now for my tip on cooking the grits. You can make the grits a day ahead and when they are finished cooking, pour them into lined cupcake pans, allow to cool and then refrigerate over night. The next day as`you are cooking the shrimp, remove the grits "cakes", peel off the paper liner, add a little butter to a skillet, add the grits cakes and brown on both sides. Place the cakes on a plate (or bowl) and top with the shrimp. YUMMO! Please stop by How Sweet The Sound for more PINK inspiration and have a wonderful weekend, filled with Bubbles of JOY! xxoo Nan