June 25, 2009

Gettin' my Southerness on with Shrimp and Grits

People either love or hate grits, which is primarily based on which side of the Mason-Dixon line they call home. In the south, grits are an absolute staple and present at nearly every breakfast table. In the north, they are thought to be as bland as cardboard and are nearly impossible to find (yes, you will get weird looks from the grocery clerk if you ask for them). Personally, I love 'em. But I do recognize that they are really a vehicle for all kinds of yumminess (cream, cheese, butter, salt), and that the grits alone are a little less than fabulous. And don't even get me started on those instant types. Yuk! The first time I decided to make grits up here in NYC, the only kind I could find was a box of instant that looked like they had been there since the beginning of time; totally covered in dust and totally icky.

Now when grits are treated with respect and gussied up a little, they can be one of the most fantastic things you will ever put in your mouth (don't believe me? Take a little trip down to the Fish House in Pensacola, FL for the grits a ya ya, and then lets talk). For our rehearsal dinner, we decided to do a southern theme, since we were in the middle of GA and more than half the guest were yankees or Canadians (i.e. super yankees), and the shrimp and grits absolutely stole the show. People couldn't believe how good they were!

This recipe is just like that. It's delicious, hearty, and a true tribute to Mr. Florence's southern roots. Serve it up with a big glass of sweet tea and a side of cornbread and you will be totally set. Just don't blame me when you start throwin' around a few ya'lls. 

Adapted from Tyler Florence

For Grits:
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal (or grits, just not the instant kind)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper
  • Place a large pot over medium-high heat, and add milk and cream.
  • Slowly whisk in cornmeal.
  • When grits start to bubble, turn heat to medium low and let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and extra cream to thin out a bit.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
For Shrimp:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into chunks 
1/4 cup ap flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
  • Place a deep skillet of medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes to soften.
  • Add sausage and cook until browned.
  • Stir in flour.
  • Slowly pour in chicken stock and stir to avoid lumps.
  • Add bay leaves.
  • When stock begins to simmer, add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until firm and pink.
  • Add lemon juice, parsley, green onion and season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, spoon grits onto plate and top with shrimp mixture.


Maria said...

Hubs is not a fan of grits but maybe I can convince him with the shrimp:)

Leslie said...

Ohhh girl...I could live on shrimp and grits! I make them often! DELISH

The Diva on a Diet said...

That looks heavenly! Even though I'm a New Yorker, I'm firmly in the pro grits camp. I adore them ... with butter ... with cheese ... with shrimp ... basically any way I can get them. Though getting them here is difficult, I agree. Such a comforting dish.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I'm a true Yankee. HOWEVER, I think of grits as the Southern polenta. Made right, as you described, they rock! Tyler's recipes fail to disappoint me, so I can only imagine the flavors of this dish. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Was it great? I love shimp and grits, of COURSE, I'm from South Alabama! Tyler always blows me away with his ultimate everything.

Sara said...

I was watching "Throwndown with Bobby Flay" last night and he did Shrimp and Grits. Never had them, but they look good!

Mary said...

This looks absolutely incredible! You've done an especially great job with this one.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love shrimp and grits and your's look amazing. We must be on the same wave length. I'm starting a "grits series" on my blog next week. I went to a wonderful restaurant in Charlotte, NC who had - believe it or not- a "Grits Bar."
I totally agree with you - the instant kind are awful. Might as well not bother with them.

Elra said...

Isn't embarrashing to admit that I still never tried GRIT before? I must ...must ... especially after looking at your shrimps dish. Delicious!

Chef Fresco said...

You know, I am from the south & used to always hate grits. Then, I was introduced to Micheal's mom's shrimp & grits - now I can't get enough!

finsmom said...

Ive never tried grits before! Ive always wanted to try making them :)

Anonymous said...

I do love shrimp and grits! It looks just heavenly!

Helene said...

Wow, never had grits but I'm telling your that I would eat a bit bowl of this.

Anonymous said...

YUM! I don't know about the grits, but the shrimp/Andouille looks AWESOME!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh wow. Speechless. Must attempt this .. it sounds fabulously fantastic! Looks even better. My guy Ty has got it going on, does he not;)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Looks awesome!!! So grits are like polenta? Ground cornmeal mush right? Just white instead of yellow? I've never had them (obviously) but I'd be game. :-)

Culinary Wannabe said...

Hi Maria - I'm sure he will enjoy the gravy, my husband likes anything that's covered in gravy! Must be a guy thing...

Hi Leslie - That's a good FL gal for ya!

Hi Diva - It is difficult! I had to go to like 3 stores to find some, and they didn't even have the kind I normally get. I actually just called my mom and asked her to ship some up to me.

Hi Debby - Tyler is the best, isn't he?! I always seem to have such good results with his recipes.

Hi Rebekka - So you are from LA? :) We used to go down to Orange Beach all the time. And it was SO good, btw!

Hi Sara - Give 'em a try! I'm sure you will like them a lot!

Hi Mary - That's so sweet! Thanks!

Hi Sam - One of my friends had a grits bar at her wedding and it was just the best. Can't wait to see what you post!

Hi Elra - Yes, please do try them and please let me know what you think! Just remember to add lots of the "bad" stuff - like butter, salt and cream. One of my favorite versions is loaded with lots of Gouda and Fontina cheeses. Yum!

Hi Chef - Those treasured family recipes are always the best!

Hi Finsmom - They are super easy to make, you just have to be attentive and keep stirring so that you don't get any clumps.

Hi 5 Star Foodie - Thanks so much!

Hi Helene - You might even go back for seconds! :)

Hi John - I strongly believe that sausage (and bacon for that matter) make everything taste better!

Hi Donna- Totally has it goin' on! My favorite recipe of his is definitely his grilled cheese though - probably the easiest thing he's ever made, but it is just SO good!

Hi Michelle - Just like southern polenta! I'm a little nervous for you to try them though, cause there just ain't a good way to make them taste good and still be healthy. This might need to be for one of your splurge meals. :)

sugarlens said...

I don't know about grits, but I am eying those shrimps! They look so fresh!

Sophie said...

What a lovely & satisfying meal!


Marta said...

Oh I love grits! I concur, though, it's a hit or miss thing for people.
This dish looks so saucy and comforting... true southern charm!

Bren said...

LOOOVE me some grits, but don't do shrimp. You sure got ur Southern on, here. This dish is just about on every menu here in ATL! :)

Jamie said...

Wow! I had grits only once when they forced me to eat a "brownie bite" at Girl Scout Camp and they were vile! But your Shrimp and Grits looks like heaven! I'll eat this!

Aren't grits a bit like fine polenta? I love creamy polenta!

And, no, packing is not finished and is no longer fun!

Junglefrog said...

Grits...hmmm, now I have absolutely no idea what grits are.. So I cannot comment on if I like it or not. Your recipe sounds delicious so I maybe I should try it although I am not sure I will be able to find the necessary ingredients here!

Kerstin said...

Looks good and your shrimp look perfect! I've never made shrimp and grits at home, but I should totally do so.

Lori Lynn said...

Your shrimp and grits look so tasty. Now, who wouldn't like that?

Aimée said...

I would be all over this! It looks amazing. I had polenta on the weekend and it was so disappointing...

Stacey said...

I just recently started liking grits... and thank GOD because it would near give my dad a heart attack that his girls didn't eat grits-- he has a very southern palate. :)

This sounds delicious!

Juliana said...

Wow, this shrimp with grits looks terrific, never had shrimp this way. Would really love to try it, yummie.

Cherie said...

I can't believe I've never had shrimp and grits!Looks delicious!

Pumpkin said...

I'm a Northerner- well, a Midwesterner, but as I live in Florida, really everything is north. But, man, do I love grits. My husband likes polenta, but claims to not like grits, dispite my attempts to explain that they are really the same food.
I could definately get him to eat this if I just called it "Shrimp and Polenta". Heehee!

Mini Baker said...

I just found your blog and I love it! You've got so many yummy recipes :)
-Mini Baker
ps. I LOVE LOVE LOVEEE shrimp!

jenn said...

I'm from Canada (so waaaay up North), and shrimp & grits is one of my favorite things about now living in nashville. : )

NMOS said...

I love shrimp & grits! I also love Southern cooking. Nice blog. I like the title.

Farmer Jo said...

This looks great! I am going to have to try this recipe

Emily Anne said...

Wow looks good. :)


christine said...

I can't believe I just found about this! The shrimp and Grits looks so mouthwatering. Trying this recipe is a must! (Probably this weekend).

For those shrimp lovers out there, check out Foodista (http://www.foodista.com) and enjoy hundreds of shrimp dishes that are easy to cook and serve.


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- Jessica

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