It's the first day of Spring! It certainly doesn't feel like it in Nola today though. I had plans to pack away my winter clothes this weekend and pull out the tank tops, but the rainy/chilly weather had other ideas. However, the cold snap did inspire my brunch menu for work today. Shrimp & Grits was one of the first things that came to my mind. What better way to warm up than with a bowl of hot and cheesy grits?
The first time I remember eating this dish was at my best friend's house. Whenever I was invited to dinner at Gwyn's house, I knew I was in for a great meal. She had lived in Charleston, SC while she was in college and so she recreated the shrimp and grits that she had eaten at the famous Hominy Grill in Charleston. She was meticulous and precise with the ingredients as always, and I was so impressed with the finished product. It was amazing.
Over the years I have made and eaten different versions of this dish. I've taken things from different recipes and influences and have put together a recipe that I really enjoy!
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ¼ cup grits
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. bacon fat or olive oil
- 1 pkg. button mushrooms
- ½ lb. andouille sausage
- 20-25 count large shrimp
- 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
- sliced scallions and chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. butter, cold
- *hot sauce-optional
- Measure 4 cups of water and add to a medium-sized pot along with the milk and a large pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and whisk in the grits. Lower the heat and continue to stir grits for 30 minutes. Add more milk or water if they become to dry. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cheese. Cover grits and keep warm while you cook the shrimp.
- Preheat a large skillet and thinly slice button mushrooms. Add the fat to the pan and sauté mushrooms until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Cut the sausage into small pieces and cook in the skillet until golden. Remove and reserve for later.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and Cajun spices. Return skillet to the heat and sauté the shrimp in two batches. Add more fat as needed and cook shrimp until just pink on each side.
- Return all shrimp and sausage back to the pan and add garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute.
- Deglaze pan with white wine and let reduce for 1 minute
- Add the chicken stock and Worcestershire and simmer for 2-3 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Add the mushrooms back to the pan.
- Turn off the heat and finish the dish with the scallions, parsley, lemon juice, s&p, and hot sauce if you would like. Stir in the cold butter and taste for seasoning.
- Serve over cheese grits and garnish with additional scallions
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