Shrimp and grits have been on my mind for a very long time now. I have no idea why, or what has made the thought stick in the back of my head, but it has been there for a very long time. This past weekend, I had to get that thought out of my head and create something amazing for not only my wife, but I thought I would also experiment on my sister-n-law and my nephews.
Shrimp and grits is considered “lowcountry” cooking, which is typically associated with South Carolina and the bordering states. Maybe that is why I have shrimp and grits on my mind, because we have been thinking about South Carolina for a few months now. That had to be it! Actually not, shrimp and grits has been rooted and well before the recent thoughts of South Carolina.
Grits is something that I have plenty of in my cabinet, however, I never really make them on a regular basis. So as my wife and sister-n-law went out shopping for the afternoon, I thought I would prepare a nice meal for everyone before they took off on the road and before we started the work week. You can tell why folks from the South love this dish. It is not only simple, and hearty, but it has some really great flavor. This dish would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It was also one of those dishes where everyone, and I mean everyone, went back for seconds.
Lets get started.
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 ribs of celery, diced
- 1/4 cup of shallots, diced
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 cup of stone-ground yellow grits
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tbsp additional butter
- 1 lb of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 30 shrimp)
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp chipotle adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simple ingredients which pack some really great flavors and texture, plus it is really quick to make. With that said…
Begin my melting the butter and olive oil in a sauce pan. Once melted, add in the garlic, shallot, and thyme. Let this cook until the garlic become fragrant, then toss in the water, broth, and cream. Stir well, and bring up to a low boil on medium-high heat.
Get a whisk and slowly begin adding in the grits, stirring the entire time. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to stir, cooking for about 10-15 minutes, then add in your parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to low. Stir on occasion as you make your shrimp and sauce.
To a large skillet, add two more tablespoons of butter and let that melt on medium-high heat. Toss in your bell peppers, and celery and give that a toss, or stir. Cook for a few minutes then toss in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until just about opaque, then remove from the skillet and set aside. Bring up the heat just a bit and toss in your white wine. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the wine reduces. Next toss in the tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Give a good stir. Add in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, put the shrimp back in, and give a good stir.
Now you are ready to plate.
Give the grits another stir. Ladle in some of the grits into a serving bowl, then take the wine and tomato sauce mixture and add that to the top of the grits. Place a few shrimp in the bowl, then drizzle some of the chipotle adobo sauce around the perimeter of the grits.
Ok, so here is the deal. When everyone is around their bowl of shrimp and grits, you literally get those sound effects you are looking for when guests eat. There were the “oh”, “oh my”, “ummmmmmm”, and the occasional “wow”.
Creamy and cheesy grits that balanced out the perfect heat of the chipotle adobo sauce, and the texture of the celery and shrimp, along with the flavor of the wine sauce really made this lowcountry cuisine shine. Hope you enjoy.