24 July 2009

Recipe: Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits for dinnerImage by frs via Flickr

From Denny: Shrimp and Grits is a favorite comfort food here in Louisiana! Here is their version of this simple dish from the Grillroom Restaurant.

Roasting Grits for Fuller Sophisticated Flavor

As to making grits, we love Quaker Quick Grits (never instant). Then, in a dry saucepan on medium heat I dry roast the raw grits. This is great for those who want to reduce gluten in their diet or may be non-insulin diabetics, eager to reduce too much starch in a favorite food. Dry roasting is great for using for most grains to accomplish that goal.

Don't over roast the grits or too much starch is burned off and then they won't stick together properly when cooking. If you do over roast them you can add raw grits to the boiling water to help pull it together. It's a fix but not as good as doing a lighter roasting. I go for the smell to tell me when it's roasted perfectly. It begins to lose the raw smell and develop that savory nutty scent of roasting.

Make sure the water is already boiling as the grits roast quickly and can burn if you are not ready to empty them into the cooking pot. Pour in a sifting motion and whisk the dry roasted grits into the boiling salted water. Make sure you use a wire whisk as you add the grits to the boiling water so you won't get any lumps. Then I add some clarified butter to the cooking grits. That's for the plain version.

To spice it up for a late breakfast, lunch or dinner meal I add some garlic powder, turmeric (turns it yellow for a festive look, especially on a white plate, and turmeric spice gives it a slight curry flavor), a bit of Cajun seasoning (a light touch as it is salty), some favorite chili powder and voila! yummy! You can always add your favorite cheese and turn it into Cheese Grits.

For the non-Southerners who are asking "what the heck is a grits cake?": What this restaurant is doing for the grits cake portions is pouring hot grits to cool in portion size shapes. Cooled grits are often cut into portions and fried or baked to heat for another dish. It's a great way to use up leftover grits. Of course, the ducks from the tiny pond in our back yard - otherwise known as the Locust Brothers when it comes to leftovers like grits - usually demand their grits meal for the day because they so love it! They also love cat food... :)

Shrimp and Grits

From: the Grillroom


6 shrimp each, 16 to 20 count size

1 ounce olive oil blend

1 each grit cake portion

1/2 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning

2 ounces white wine

4 ounces oyster BBQ butter

2 ounces pepper mix

1 ounce Cajun tasso ham, 1/4" x 1/4" diced

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper mix

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 each lemon wedge

1 each thyme sprig


Place the grit cakes in the oven to heat throughout.

Heat a saute pan over high heat and add the oil.

Add the shrimp, peppers, onions, and ham. Season with 1/2 Tbsp. of Cajun seasoning and the salt and pepper mix. Saute briefly. Add the white wine and reduce until dry. Add the BBQ oyster butter and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are cooked throughout.

Bank the grit cake pieces off of each other in the center of a square plate. Pour the saute mixture over the top of the grits, arranging the shrimp so they are on top.

Garnish with the chopped parsley, thyme sprig and the lemon wedge

Cajun cuisine, Shellfish, Shrimp and Grits, Fish and Seafood, Olive oil, Cook, Home, Grits, Shrimp, Barbecue, BBQ, Chili powder, Cajun

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