Okay, so here’s the thing…
The problem with grits is that most people who don’t like them, got them is some restaurant where they were simply boiled and served watery. This would be the equivalent of serving a plain, over cooked, baked chicken breast with no seasoning, sauce, or anything.
Grits enrich the flavors that are added to them, and should be served thick and firm…almost a sticky-rice denseness.
Had a hankerin’ for these today, so I pulled out Dad’s old file box and went a’rummaging. This isn’t actually MY dad’s recipe, but my grandfather’s. Dad always referred to it as Dad’s’ Shrimp N’ Grits (they were both chefs.)
The only modification over the decades is probably the quick grits, which I’m sure my granddad didn’t use. This is what I serve to Yankees who say, “I don’t like grits!” The plate always comes back clean.
This is one of my favorite dishes in all the world.
Dad Perkins’ Shrimp N’ Grits
2 lbs unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp (31/40 count)
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
5 bacon slices, diced
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper powder
1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Toss shrimp with flour until lightly coated, shaking to remove excess.
2. Cook bacon in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet.
3. Sauté onions and mushrooms in hot drippings 4 minutes or just until mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Add shrimp, and sauté 3 to 3 1/2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute (do not brown garlic). Add lemon juice and next 3 ingredients; serve immediately over quick cheese grits (recipe below). Sprinkle with bacon.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Quick Cheese Grits
4 cups prepared quick grits (cook per directions, 1/2 water, 1/2 whole milk)
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
10-oz. block Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
Prepare quick grits according to package instructions, substitute 1/2 of the water for whole milk. Once cooked, stir in the butter, salt and garlic, stir and allow to sit five minutes. Stir in cheese. Allow 2 minutes to melt (nuke of 1 minute in necessary), stir again, and serve.