Happy 4th of July, everyone!
Here is the recipe I promised for the lightened shrimp and grits. This is the meal we watched at the Charleston Cooks demonstration class. This is actually 3 recipes in one: Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp Stock, and Creamy Stone Ground Grits. You probably want to get started on the shrimp stock and grits first (finish the grits up to step 4, then just before serving complete step 5).
Shrimp and Grits
2-3 bacon slices, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons blackening seasoning
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (reserve shells for shrimp stock recipe)
1 ear corn, shucked and kernels cut off cob
6-8 okra, sliced into rounds
8-12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 recipe shrimp stock (see below)
2 tablespoons butter
1. Place bacon in a large saute pan and cook over medium heat until light golden brown. Add the garlic and onion to the pan and saute until onion is translucent.
2. Add the blackening seasoning to the pan and saute in the bacon fat until aromatic. Next add the shrimp (in one layer if possible) and allow them to sit in the pan untouched for one minute. Do no stir.
3. Add the corn, okra, and tomatoes to the pan and stir to incorporate. Add enough shrimp stock to cover shrimp about halfway.
4. Bring the stock to a boil, and reduce sauce slightly. Turn off heat and fold in the butter to finish.
*The okra is still crispy in the recipe. If you prefer your okra cooked longer, add it with the blackening seasoning.
Makes about 2 quarts stock
2 tablespoons butter
shells from 1-2 pounds shrimp
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 clove garlic
1 celery stalk, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sprigs of parsley
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1 star anise
3 whole cloves
5 whole coriander seeds
7 black peppercorns
1/2 cup white wine
about 1-2 quarts water (just enough to cover)
1. Place butter in a medium stock pot over medium-high heat. When melted, add shrimp shells, and cook until the shells are pink and just starting to turn golden brown.
2. Add tomato paste through peppercorns to the pot and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the white wine to the pot (mixture will boil up vigorously), and cook until wine is reduced to almost a syrupy consistency.
4. Add enough water to the pot to barely cover the shells, and bring water to a simmer.
5. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, and strain through a fine strainer. Throw away shells and vegetables, reserve stock (do this over the sink!)
Creamy Stone Ground Grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup stone ground grits
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Hot sauce, to taste
1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Add the grits and stir until the grits are light brown and toasted.
3. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring or whisking often, until grits are thick, about 20-25 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low and add the cream. Cook, stirring or whisking often, until grits are thick again, about 10-15 more minutes.
5. Remove the grits from the heat. Add the cheese and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Season with salt and more hot sauce to taste.
I hope you all have a fun and safe 4th of July today! We decided not to brave the crowds at the beach, and are having a low-key day at the pool instead.
My fingers and toes are ready to celebrate!