Ah, it’s good to be back! Graduate school forced me to take a leave of absence from posting for a while, although I never stopped cooking. Since it has begun to cool off for fall, I thought I would make the first post after my long absence on some sort of comfort food. Between William and myself we have covered many different types of comfort food, and I thought I would try and post something a bit different. I was looking through the huge pile of recipes I have printed to eventually make, and I came across shrimp and grits.
The recipe I came across I saw on the Food Network on the show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I thought Bobby’s recipe looked much more appealing than the challenger’s, so I went with his recipe. The combination of grits, white cheddar cheese, and shrimp just sounded too delicious to pass up. Not to mention you cook the shrimp in garlic and rendered bacon fat. How could this recipe not be delicious? After making the recipe, I realized I had chosen correctly. The white sharp cheddar cheese gave the grits a sophisticated taste, and the rendered bacon fat and garlic gave the shrimp an amazingly rich flavor. To top it off, the shrimp and grits are topped with sliced scallions, which gives the dish a refreshing, complex flavor. This dish aptly demonstrates Bobby Flay’s excellent ability to make a dish with complex flavors that meld together and dance around your palate.
4-5 Cups Chicken Broth (Recipe calls for shrimp stock, but I didn’t have any, so I used chicken broth)
1 Cup Yellow Stone Ground Corn Meal
1 Cup Grated White Cheddar Cheese (Preferably Sharp)
Freshly Ground Pepper
3 Green Onions (Scallions) Sliced for Garnish
20 Large Shrimp, Shelled and Deveined
1/2 lb Thick-cut Bacon
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
Salt and Pepper
1. Bring 4 cups of broth/stock with 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the grits are soft, whisking every couple minutes. This will take 15-20 minutes depending on your stove/pan. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more of the additional broth/stock. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook the bacon (I recommend baking, I prefer the faster method) and save the rendered bacon fat. The day I made this, I had the bacon for breakfast and just saved the bacon fat for later. Or you can always slice the bacon into strips and cook it in the skillet you are going to cook the shrimp in like in the original recipe.
4. Pat your shrimp dry with a paper towel and salt and pepper them. Place 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet (non-stick is best here) over medium heat and add the shrimp and garlic to the pan. Cook until the shrimp is opaque about 1-2 minutes on each side.
5. Remove the shrimp and place in a bowl and reserve the garlic oil from the pan (it will be drizzled over the final dish).
6. Divide the grits into 4-6 bowls (depending on what size portions you want) and add the shrimp on top. Drizzle on some garlic oil and top with the sliced green onions.
7. Dig in and enjoy! You won’t be disappointed.