I don’t have a whole lot to chat about this evening. Life right now isn’t boring to me by any means, but it is a bit routine and redundant. This might be a good time to start the practice of just getting to the recipe.
I feel inclined to share with you this dinner we whipped up earlier because it is not only delicious but fairly easy.
You guys know I love the Southern fare, and this house has been on a bit of a seafood kick lately. We’re just going to roll with it.
All I have to say about grits is that my experience with them prior to living down south was limited to hearing a brassy waitress named Flo tell her boss to kiss hers on a regular basis on the television, and I had tried them once in the 90’s while working at a restaurant that serves them with all the breakfast orders. They were plain and grainy, but with a little butter and real maple syrup, not so bad.
In the south I saw them served up savory for the first time. They added cheese, bacon, salt and pepper. I also found out that grits weren’t to be limited to breakfast. They were often the bed that held the fresh caught seafood that is abundant in that area because of the rivers and the Gulf of Mexico.
I decided to try shrimp and grits one day when it was being offered on the “features” board at a beautiful waterfront place on the Ochlockonee River. I never stopped craving it, so here we are today trying to remake that very cherished meal, from that very cherished little location.
I tried to replicate the grits this evening by using chicken stock and real cream to simmer them in. Cheddar cheese is what the recipe calls for, but I had a bag of shredded American and cheddar blend, so I used it. It turned out absolutely perfect because the bite of the cheddar gave exactly the flavor I wanted, but the American helped with the texture. It was so rich and creamy. If you can find this blend, I definitely encourage you to use it.
As for the spinach, I just think greens are a good idea.
I plated both of the main players in tonight’s dinner side by side because they are a set. One without the other is just, meh. They both deserve to be front and center. The perfect bite on your fork is a taste of heaven.
The shrimp were tender and the andouille lent a little bit of snappy heat. The creamy grits held it all together.
What You Need:
2 c chicken stock + 1 c for shrimp and sausage.
1 tsp cajun seasoning
2 c heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter
1 c grits
1/2 c shredded cheddar or a blend
1 c fresh baby spinach packed
2 Tbsp crumbled bacon
Shrimp and Sausage
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper small diced
1 yellow bell pepper small diced
1 orange bell pepper small diced
1 sweet onion small diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb andouille sausage sliced and halved
2 lbs raw shrimp peeled, deveined. I like to toss mine in cajun or creole seasoning.
What You Do:
Do all prep work ahead of time. Chop the veggies and sausage, clean shrimp or thaw if necessary.
In a medium pot, heat the chicken stock, creole seasoning, butter and cream on medium high until it begins to simmer.
In the meantime heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.
Add peppers and onions to the wok or skillet.
Cook these until tender, then add the garlic and allow to cook one additional minute.
Add andouille sausage to vegetables in wok.
As soon as cream and broth are simmering, whisk the grits into the pot 1/4 cup at a time.
Lower heat and cover stirring occasionally. Follow package directions for timing.
Now you can give the meat and veggies your full attention. They just need to not stick, dry up or burn. Use the reserved cup of stock for this. Just add a little to the wok if it starts getting too hot or dry.
As soon as grits are tender, add the cheese bacon and spinach, then remove from heat. Keep covered until you serve them.
Ladle some grits in a bowl and top with all that shrimp and sausage goodness.
Hit it with some fresh herbs and a little cayenne sauce if you wish. I barely got a good pic as I was busy attacking it the second it was ready.
I made this really yummy pie with a pear filling and pecan streusel top for dessert. I’ll share that recipe tomorrow. The food coma I’ve been fighting for hours to get this written is now getting the best of me.
Sweet Dreams, Cookers.
©️2019 cHELLe ON WHEELS
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission by the owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts or links may be used, provided that full credit is given to M.L. Clement or cHELLe ON WHEELS, LLC. with appropriate and specific direction to original content.