Simply Southern – Grits (and shrimp)

You can’t eat just one….well, you can, but it is really hard. What is a grit?  Grits are ground corn – sometimes white, sometimes yellow. Think of grits as super coarse corn meal. Shrimp and grits is an old Southern Low Country dish that has become chic. Grits are great with just butter, cheese added, eaten with milk and sugar, allowed to get cold and then sliced and fried (think of northern corn meal mush), baked in a casserole, an interesting side instead of rice or mashed taters, served for breakfast with a good drizzle of Red Eye gravy….  Shrimp and Grits are an excellent brunch, lunch or elegant dinner dish.

Grits. I love them. A bowl of hot grits with plenty of butter makes me happy. It is what I call a “non-confrontational” food. Warm, comforting, filling; feeling peckish, tired, lazy….Grits.

I like to buy stone ground grits (not the non-quick cooking or instant ones) that have plenty of the corn bran in them. They take more time to cook – like Irish Oats – but the texture and taste is rewarding. Add whatever you think you want to them – they’re grits – they’re gritty – they can take it. I have included the recipe for Shrimp and Grits and also, a scene from one of my favorite movies: My Cousin Vinny. I think you know the scene before you even see it.

どうぞめしあがれ douzo meshiagare, y’all!!

Shrimp and Grits (or, Breakfast Shrimp)
•1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, halved lengthwise, and deveined
•Juice of 1 lemon
•Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce (I use Frank’s or Crystal)
•1 1/2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
•1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
•6 thick slices bacon, chopped
•1 small onion, finely chopped
•1 garlic clove, minced
•1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
•2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
•1 cup chicken stock
•1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated medium to sharp Cheddar cheese
•Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

Preparation:
Combine the shrimp with the lemon juice and a couple of generous splashes of hot pepper sauce. Let sit while you begin the grits and gravy.
Make the grits in a large heavy saucepan, first bringing 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. When you have added all the grits, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end. Be sure to check frequently as they can stick. Like risotto, stirring makes them more creamy.

While the grits simmer, get the gravy under way. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown but still limp. Stir in the onion and garlic and continue cooking until the onion and pepper are limp, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and continue cooking for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the stock and remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat while you finish the grits.

When the grits are thick and creamy, stir in as much of the butter as you wish, followed by the cheese. Add a splash of hot pepper sauce and additional salt if you like. Cover the grits while you finish the gravy.

Return the gravy to medium heat and stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, mounding the grits in large shallow bowls or on plates and covering them with shrimp and gravy. A sprinkle of thinly sliced green onion is a good garnish.

images[6]

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. trixfred30
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 04:38:49

    Never had grits not in 43 years. I feel cheated.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 10, 2013 @ 08:23:19

      You have been robbed. Even the instant ones aren’t bad. I just love that flavor and texture from the stone ground ones. If you eat them for breakfast with some cheese and butter stirred in (you can use heart healthy spreads and low fat cheese as well), it will keep you going. Hope you do try them and like them. Let me know! > Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 09:38:52 +0000 > To: thspencer51@hotmail.com >

      Reply

  2. tazeinmirzasaad
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 08:11:32

    My sweet friend, I have nominated you for Blog of The Year Award 2013! Congratulations! Please visit this link: http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/blog-of-the-year-award-2013/

    Reply

  3. Tails from Paris
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 11:01:45

    We forgot to tell you that Alix & Roxane from “Tails from Paris” have nominated your blog for the Liebster & the Super Sweet Blogging Awards :
    http://tailsfromparis.com/2013/11/09/the-liebster-award/

    You can choose either one or both. Because you’re worth it 😉

    Have a super sweet coming week !
    Alix & Roxane

    Reply

  4. seeker
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 15:20:12

    I’ll take the shrimps anytime, not the grits.

    Reply

  5. SirenaTales
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 18:49:52

    Yum! Looks terrific. xo

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Grits Are Glorious | Pinching Pennies Hard Enough To Make Lincoln Cry

Thank you for reading! I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: