Monday, July 24, 2017

Creamy Shrimp and Grits

Gerald and I had a delicious dinner date - at home! - the other night. The kids were gone somewhere, and he asked me out to dinner! Instead, I had him pick up some nice shrimp at the fish market on his way home. I took time to set the table, and in the end, it was way better (and way cheaper!) than going out.

I've been making shrimp and grits a long time, and I have several ways to do it. But I had a couple of new things I wanted to try.

First, this is a smoked gouda cheese that I found at the deli section in Walmart. It is delicious! It's melts like butter and has a subtle smoky flavor that is divine. I use it on grilled cheese sometimes. Yumm. I'll tell you about the other new thing in a minute...

I grated a cup of this cheese on my fine grater. Be sure and grate the rind into it. This isn't like a red waxy cheddar rind, but more of a smoke ring from the curing of the cheese. It adds so much flavor.

I use Jim Dandy quick grits. NOTE - a true Southerner would NEVER use instant grits. And since Mama has always used Jim Dandy, I know I must be right! I cooked them with milk, not water, to add a little more richness. Be sure to add more salt than called for at the beginning. I usually double what the instructions call for. You can't ever add enough salt to cooked grits. Do it right the first time!

I stirred in the cheese until it was melted. I cooked my grits as I prepped my veggies for the shrimp. I covered them, and it was fine. If they thicken a little too much, add a little warm water and whisk over low heat.

This is a new ingredient I got while we were in New Orleans a few months ago. 

We tried all kinds of new places while we were there, but our favorite (we ate there twice) was The Creole House, next to our hotel. The manager was so friendly and actually brought us several things to just try! She and I swapped some recipes, and she's the one who told me about the Magic Shrimp Seasoning. I picked some up at Central Grocery while I was there.

I began by prepping my veggies. I chopped one stalk of celery, cut up a red bell pepper into strips, cut a small onion into strips (cut it pole to pole) and chopped a lot of garlic. Probably about three or four large cloves. All this needs to be done ahead of time.

Next, I peeled my shrimp and patted them dry. Then I liberally seasoned it on both sides with the shrimp seasoning. Set aside.

I chopped two slices of bacon and sauteed it in a large non-stick pan.

Break it up as it cooks.

When the fat is rendered and it is beginning to get crispy...

add your veggies and shrimp.
Saute for about four minutes or until crisp tender.

Add 1/4 cup of flour...

and stir until coated.

Add two cups of half and half and mix well.

Stir continuously over medium high heat until it thickens.

Plate and serve immediately.

This is a little different from the brown gravy recipe for shrimp and grits. It's very rich and oh, so creamy! It was delicious. Next time, I will add even more of the shrimp seasoning. It's not hot at all. Just flavorful. But the sauce was so rich, it sucked it all up. It can definitely handle more!

Later this week, I'll finish up with the recipe for the crawfish cornbread we had with this meal. You can see it on the side a couple of picture up.

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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