Shrimp and Grits


Quaker Old Fashioned grits (one serving)
Dubliner Irish Cheddar Cheese (4-6 oz)
Frozen, uncooked shrimp
Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal
Flour (seasoned flour, if you can find it. My friend Valer
One egg, fork or whisk-beaten
White and Cayenne pepper
Veg Oil


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
First, approach the shrimp. I bought the frozen variety, but feel free to buy fresh if you’d like. Thaw the shrimp, peel and de-vein. I like to remove the entire tail, but you may choose to keep it.
After you’ve de-veined the shrimp, give them another rinse under the cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Add a bit of white pepper and a pinch of cayenne to the shrimp. On three plates, lay out season flour, the beaten egg. Add the cornmeal to the third plate, or, if you prefer, a large plastic zip lock bag. Drag through the flour, egg wash, and bathe in cornmeal using your preferred method.
While the shrimp are basking in the cornmeal, focus on the grits.
For this recipe, cook the grits as directed on the package, approximately 12-14 minutes. Just like pasta, remember to salt the water. About a teaspoon will do.
While the grits are cooking away, add the oil to a medium hot pan and fry shrimp on each side for 3-4 minutes. As they come out of the pan, remove them to a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in the oven to keep warm
This should bring you close to your final cheddar cheese approach with the grits. Around minute 11 or 12, grate about a cup of cheddar cheese and a crack or two of Mrs. P (pepper, for the uninitiated). Stir the grated cheese into the grits until it starts to blend completely into the grits. While stirring, notice that the grits continue to emit starch and take on water, becoming more porridge like by the moment. Don’t over stir the grits. Grits don’t do well when they’re over agitated. They tend to stiffen, which isn’t what we’re looking for. We want a nice, creamy, cheesy, happy grit.
As this comes together to a consistency of your liking, remove the shrimp from the oven. Add grits to the plat or to a bowl, and top with as many shrimp as you’d like. I added about 5-7 per plate. Serve with something green. I chose asparagus, which accompanied the dish nicely.




For those of you who are weary of grits, let’s take a moment to discuss. Grits are delicious…if you take the time to cook them correctly. Most people do not. I’ve been to too many diners that serve them as an after thought; no Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper, no butter. Just plain old, tasteless stone-ground corn.
Cheddar cheese grits are one of the most comforting foods you can eat, and considerably easier to make than our other comfort food friend, the mashed potato.




Friday, December 4, 2009 - 11:40pm



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