Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Southern comfort food...need I say more?  :-)


1 cup Quick Cooking Grits
2 cups Water
2 cups Whole Milk
1 tbsp of Unsalted Butter
1 tsp of Salt
1 cup Cheddar Cheese

Shrimp and Gravy:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs of Shrimp (raw, peeled, and deveined)
1/2 of a Lemon (juiced)
1 1/2 tsp of Season Salt (Lawry's, preferred -- Eula didn't use anything but!)
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp of Garlic Powder (NOT Garlic Salt -- there is a difference)
5 tbsp All Purpose Flour
6 to 8 Sliced of Thick Cut Bacon - chopped
1 medium Sweet Onion - diced (Vidalia onion, preferred)
1 tbsp of Unsalted Butter
1 cup of Chicken Broth (Knorr Boullion cube makes the best broth)

Let's prep our shrimp.  Wash the shrimp and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the Shrimp. Add Season Salt, 1 tsp of Ground Black Pepper, and 1 tsp Garlic Powder.  Make sure the seasoning is evenly distributed.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator until needed.

While that's getting ready, we'll start the grits.  Combine the water, milk, butter, and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling stir in the grits (Tip -- If you use a whisk as you stir in the grits, you will notice there will be no lumps in your grits).  Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Revisit the pot and stir occasionally.  We aren't finish with the grits yet, there is still a little something we need to add. :-)

Now, it is time for our Shrimp and Gravy. Of course you don't need a cast iron skillet, but if you are planning to do a lot of cooking then you need to invest in one (Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet) .  Heat up your skillet on medium-high heat.  Once, hot add the chopped bacon.

As the bacon beings to brown, add the onions and 1 tsp Garlic Powder. Stir occasionally. Now, add 2 tsbp of butter to the skillet.  As the onions becomes translucent, remove the shrimp from the refrigerator, dust the shrimp with a coat of flour (about 2 tbsp), and add then to the pan (at this point, depending on your stove, you may need to reduce your heat to medium).

Cook until the shrimp becomes a "pretty pink".

Shrimp, bacon, and onions are ready for gravy 

Now, add sprinkle the remaining flour over the mixture and brown the flour (not too brown).

Flour sprinkled on to begin the base of the gravy

Lastly, slow stir in the chicken broth. A gravy should start to form.

Gravy is forming

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Return to the grits ( I hope you remembered to occasionally stir them) and check the thickness.  If it is too thick, you may add a touch of either water, milk, or heavy cream (I personally prefer heavy cream).  Then, add one cup of cheddar cheese and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon some grits on a plate, smother with shrimp and gravy, and serve!  Hope y'all like it!

Shrimp and Grits with Garlic Bread

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