Since I tackled Southern style cheese grits I have looked forward to creating my own version of Shrimp and Grits. I also wanted to talk through my thought process as this dish comes together. My starting place was to mimic Susan's Breakfast Oatmeal but use cheese grits instead of the oatmeal and a shrimp filling. I researched traditional Georgia style shrimp and grits and decided to use smoked sausage, sweet peppers and onion with a sauce. I found a Ukrainian style smoked Kubasa instead of the traditional Andouille but you could substitute a polish smoked sausage. If I fried the sausage I could render out some of the tasty fat in which I could fry the shrimp, peppers and onions. Adding some flour would make a roux that I could flavor with white wine, lemon juice and stock. To keep our shrimp moist we need to brine them, then sauté in the shells to add more shrimp flavor (the shells are packed with flavor). White wine and lemon may not be traditional but pairs great with the shrimp. I presented three different possible grits platforms but you could just use a pile of cheese grits to simplify. The three possible platforms are a mini pie pan, an egg mold and a mini spring form pan. You can try any or find your own. If you are going to use some sort of mold or container, you will need to make a stiffer grit mixture in order for it to retain its shape. Good luck and happy cooking!
For the cheese grits -
2 cups stone ground premium white grits
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk
water to achieve proper consistency
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
For the shrimp mixture -
1 pound large shell on raw gulf shrimp
1/2 pound good quality Ukrainian smoked sausage
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup diced peppers (mixture of red, yellow and poblano)
1/2 medium onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 Tbsp. butter plus extra to butter the molds
2 Tbsp. flour
1. Add the butter to a large sauce pan and the grits and toast on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk to the sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring with a whisk and continue cooking until grits soften (about 15 minutes). Grate the cheeses and add while stirring, season with salt to taste and add water to achieve proper consistency. Let cool. Note: we want a fairly stiff mixture.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the molds and sprinkle the molds with the grated parmesan. Press the
cooled grits into the molds and up the sides. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. Clean and devein the shrimp. Dice the sausage and sauté with half the butter until the fat begins to render. Add the onions, garlic and peppers and sauté until the onion is translucent. Remove the mixture to a bowl and add the shrimp to sauté until pink. Remove the shrimp and add the sausage mixture back with the flour and butter. Stir until a roux comes together then add the wine and stock to deglaze. Reduce by one half. Peel the shrimp, chop into large pieces reserving some for garnish. Add to the sausage pepper mixture and reduce to the required consistency.
4. Spoon the shrimp mixture into the molds and sprinkle with some parmesan. Garnish with the reserved shell-on shrimp and return to the oven to heat through then serve.
Past Posts (click to select)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.