Shrimp and Grits

Parents lived in New Orleans three times, so I had plenty of occasions to visit the city and sample the deep south version of this dish.  While ingredients varied, the grits were consistently just a convenient mechanism to hold together obscene amounts of butter and cream. For this rendition, I took inspiration from Tasty Eats to find a balance between healthy and classic.

Topping

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 links Boudin sausage, sliced (Andouille is also nice)
  • 1/4 C Smoked Ham, chopped
  • 1 Purple Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 t Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 2 t Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1 t Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T Butter

Grits

  • 1 C Grits
  • 2 C Shrimp or Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 -1 C Milk
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 t Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 3 T Parmesan, grated
  • 3 T White Cheddar, grated
  • Chives
  • Black Pepper
IMG_1743 IMG_1744

To make the topping, heat oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 5-6 minutes until almost golden. Add garlic, sautee for another minute. Add bell peppers, saute for a few more minutes. Don’t over cook the peppers, you want them to crunch a little. Add lemon, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce, saute for another minute. Remove mixture to a plate. In the same pan add Boudin and sautee until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, ham and Cajun seasoning, saute for another minute. Return mixture to the pan and stir to blend for another minute. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In a medium stockpot, heat the stock to boiling then whisk in the grits a little at a time. After all IMG_1745grits are added continue to whisk for 5-6 minutes. Add oil and slowly add the milk while whisking continuously, about 5 minutes. Add pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce, whisk some more. Depending on how you like your grits you might add more milk to make them soupy. If you like your grits to stand up and sass back, you might cook them less.

For assembly, put 3/4 -1 C grits in a wide bowl, top with 1/2 – 3/4 C Shrimp/Boudin mixture, black pepper and chives. Almost every table is New Orleans is equipped with Tabasco and most natives apply it liberally; its not actually Cajun hot until you sweat, see stars or simply pass out.

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