I was born in the Northern part of this country but raised in the Southern part. Regardless, I still don't think of myself as a "Northerner" or a "Southerner." But since I've spent most of my life down south, I figured I better start learning to cook like a southerner. One of my favorite dishes to eat and to make is Shrimp 'n' Grits. I found a particularly good recipe for this on the lovely Vintage Victuals blog.
She was kind enough to let me share the recipe here. I highly recommend checking out her blog as she has been doing this for awhile and has some great recipes! The only modifications that I made were: 1) I left out the ham because I just don't like ham overall and 2) I added a tad more cheese (you know because I saved the calories from taking out the ham hah).
Georgia Shrimp 'n' Grits
as seen here
I think I started eating before I took this picture so it's not "perfect."
3/4 lb. wild Georgia shrimp
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon butter
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
4 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 slice cured country ham, cooked and torn into pieces
Peel and de-vein the shrimp.
Combine in a small bowl the Cajun seasoning, the paprika, the Italian seasoning, and the pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the shrimp, tossing until they are well coated. Set aside.
Next, pour the water, the chicken boullion, and the butter into a heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Slowly add in the grits, and whisk constantly, cooking over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, the cream, and the cheddar cheese. Continue to cook and whisk for 2-3 more minutes, until grits become very creamy and thick. To quote the original recipe, “Don’t skimp on the butter and the cream, folks.”
In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
Pour in the spiced shrimp and cook JUST until they are done and tender, about 2 minutes (depending on the size of your shrimp). Do not overcook or your shrimp will get rubbery.
Remove the shrimp from the pan to a clean bowl and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove.
Add the flour to the drippings, stirring to make the base of a roux. Cook for 10 minutes until medium tan in color. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and the cream. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the worchestershire sauce and hot sauce, stirring to incorporate. Finally, add the country ham.
Serve the shrimp on a generous bed of grits, topped with the roux sauce.