Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gulf Shrimp and Grits

Growing up in the south I had some truly southern meals growing up, and continue to cook them now, but there are a few dishes that I have recently learned about that are said to be "true southern food" that I have never heard of.  While I have had grits, shrimp of all varieties, waffles, and fried chicken I have never had the combination of shrimp and grits or waffles and fried chicken and I must say the first time I heard of these food combinations I was a little taken aback.  When I think of grits and waffles I think of breakfast, and while I do eat breakfast foods on a regular basis I typically don't put shrimp in that category and most of the time I don't put chicken in that category...unless we are talking about Chic-fil-a's chicken biscuit...we all make exceptions!  One of the shows I was watching that featured shrimp and grits said that it was a southerners meal and that if you had never had shrimp and grits then you weren't a true southerner; well I guess I wasn't a true southerner until about a month ago when I decided to make this meal.  Let me tell ya, I have been missing out, this was soooo good and the combination of all the flavors just melded so well together.  The cheesiness of the grits, the sweetness of the shrimp, and the smokey and salty flavor of the bacon were truly sublime.

I got this recipe from Food Network after I watched "Throwdown" with Bobby Flay.  Can I just say I love watching that show!  The challenges he takes on are from all different cuisines and from all different courses of the meal; it doesn't matter if it's a traditional wedding cake or an Asian breakfast dish he's game for whatever is thrown his way.  I think it is so neat that he steps out of his comfort zone, and risks being defeated in the challenge, to take on the best of the best.  Enough rambling; when I saw this episode of "Throwdown" it made me really want to try this dish for my self.  This particular recipe is the one that Bobby Flay used and it was delicious, but the next time I make it I am going to try his competitor's stay tuned to see which one I like better!

If you've never tried shrimp and grits I strongly urge you to go make!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Bar Americain's Gulf Shrimp and Grits


For the grits-

4-5 Cups shrimp stock


Fresh ground black pepper

1 Cup yellow stone ground cornmeal

1 Cup white cheddar, grated

3 Green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)

For the shrimp-

1/2 Pound thick, double smoked cut bacon, cut into lardons

2 Tablespoons pure olive oil

20 Large shrimp, shelled and deveined

3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


For the grits-

Bring 4 cups of shrimp stock and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Slowly whisk in the grits and let stock return to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the grits are soft and have lost most of their gritty texture, whisking every few mintues for about 15-20 minutes.  If the mixture becomes too thick add the remaining stock and continue cooking until it's completely absorbed. 

Add the cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.  Season, to taste, with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

For the Shrimp-

Place the bacon lardons in a medium pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered.  Remove bacon, with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and return to medium heat.  Add the olive oil and increase the heat to high.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the garlic.  Saute until golden brown on both sides, and until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.  Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate.  Reserve the garlic oil to drizzle over the finished dish.

Divide the grits among 4 bowls and top each with 5 shrimp.  Drizzle with some of the reserved bacon garlic oil and sprinkle with some green onions and bacon.

Recipe Source: Food Network, Bobby Flay

1 comment:

Kristin King - Norfolk Cooking Examiner said...

Beautiful!! My sister and I love shrimp and grits - she would go nuts if I made this for her. Saving this! :)

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