Shrimp and Grits

Posted by Brette in Food

Deep inside this Yankee, there is a Southerner trying to get out.  I’ve been getting in touch with my Southern roots (and I do have them  – Button Gwinnett who signed the Declaration of Independence and lived in Savannah is an ancestor and I obsessively read books by Anne Rivers Siddons about the low country). Ever since our trip to Savannah a few years ago, I’ve been hearing the call of the salt water marshes and longing for fried chicken. I learned to make the fried chicken (it took a whole summer of experimenting) and I also make a good hoecake and really good lemonade (thank you to Paula Deen for both). There is one thing that has eluded me however, and that, my friends, is grits.

I’ve had a few encounters with grits, and none have gone well. In Florida, we’ve had them at Mel’s Diner in Naples. They were not good. I’ve made them before for a Martha recipe and they weren’t good. I am at the point where I don’t understand the allure.

Then I noticed Martha had a recipe for shrimp and grits in July Living. I had to try it. This grits recipe was different from others I’ve tried. Martha says to cover the grits (1 cup) with water 3 inches over them, then drain the water off the top and then strain the grits in a sieve. This is supposed to remove the husks. Heck, I didn’t know grits had husks.

Then you get the grits cooking in 5 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Once it has simmered for 45 min, you cover it and take it off the heat and let it just sit for 30-60 minutes.

While this is sitting, make the shrimp. Cook 2 slices bacon chopped, then add 1/4 med onion chopped, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 of a green pepper chopped (I used red)  in the grease. Push those to the side once soft and sear the shrimp (1 lb shelled and deveined)  on both sides in the middle of the pan. Push those to the side and add 1 tbsp flour. Mix that up and then add 3/4 cup chicken stock and 1 tbsp lemon juice until it thickens, about 2 min. Add bacon back in and season with salt and pepper.

Add 1 tbsp butter and 2/3 cup cup cheddar cheese to the grits and heat them up. Serve shrimp over grits.

The moment of truth? I’m sorry to say I still am not a fan of grits! They weren’t bad, they were just really plain and bland (even with the cheese in them). With the shrimp and sauce on them they had some taste, but it wasn’t anything I want to make again. My inner Southerner is crushed. They just tasted like tasteless mush, with some cheese in it.

So, does anyone want to tell me how to make grits I will like?

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