Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
Source of Recipe
From "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin
"Shrimp and grits are everywhere on restaurant menus, but harder to find in African-American cookbooks unless you know what you're looking for: The historian Arturo Schomburg called it 'breakfast shrimp with hominy.' In Gullah-Geechee parlance, it's gone by names like shrimp gravy or smuttered shrimp. Casual Louisiana Creoles might call it breakfast shrimp with tomatoes. Whatever you call it, this is a luscious version of the dish, inspired by chef Chris Williams of the Houston restaurant Lucille's, which he named after cookbook author Lucille Bishop Smith, his great-grandmother. The tips for preparing grits here are from Dora Charles's 'A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen.' It combines cheese grits, which are simmered low and slow so they are creamy, with plump, slightly briny Gulf Coast shrimp paired with a rich gravy infused with bacon and green onion. It is outstanding served at breakfast; I also like to serve it as an elegant first course for dinner with special friends. Try it my way, then the next time, if you'd like, dice a few mushrooms or a small tomato and toss them into the pan with the onions and garlic."
List of Ingredients
◦ 1 ¼ cups chicken stock
◦ 1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
◦ 1 cup old-fashioned or quick (not instant) grits
◦ 2 tablespoons butter
◦ 6 tablespoons half-and-half
◦ ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
◦ ¼ teaspoon white pepper
◦ 3 slices bacon, finely diced
◦ ¼ cup all-purpose flour
◦ 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
◦ ½ cup chopped green onions
◦ ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
◦ 1 clove garlic, minced
◦ 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
◦ 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, bring 3 ½ cups water, 1 cup of the chicken stock, and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until blended. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps, until tender, about 30 minutes. Add water, if necessary, to keep it thick but not stiff. Remove the grits from the heat. Stir in the butter, half-and-half, Cheddar, and white pepper.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Spoon out the bacon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Toss the shrimp in the flour mixture to coat lightly on all sides.
Heat the bacon fat in the pan over medium-high until sizzling. Add the shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the green onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn fully pink, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup stock and cook, stirring, until the shrimp gravy is smooth and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and minced parsley. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Divide the grits evenly among serving bowls. Pour the shrimp and gravy over the grits.
Sprinkle with the bacon.