Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shrimp and Grits

I love love love Southern shrimp and grits! This dish is such a lovely comfort food with the creamy, warm, cheesy grits and saucy shrimp. This recipe produces a roux-stock mixture in which the shrimp are poached so that they are bathed in a light, spicy sauce. So yummy!

Adapted from:
Ultimate Shrimp and Grits, Tyler Florence; Bar Americain’s Gulf Shrimp and Grits, Bobby Flay

For the Grits:
4 to 5 cups water or chicken stock
Kosher salt
1 cup yellow stone ground cornmeal
1 cup grated white Cheddar
Freshly ground black pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

For the Shrimp:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound andouille or spicy Italian spicy sausage, cut in chunks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 to 3 bay leaves
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
Pinch cayenne pepper, adjust to personal preference
½ lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 green onions, sliced

To prepare the grits:
Bring 4 cups of the water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the grits are soft and have lost their gritty texture, whisking every few minutes, 15 to 20 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add remaining water and continue cooking until absorbed. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

To prepare the shrimp:
Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaves. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Add the cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and green onion. 

Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

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