Shrimp&Grits

Shrimp and Hominy Grits

Ingredients
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup hominy grits
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
2 ribs of celery minced (1/4 cup)
½ pound andouille sausage chopped into ¼-inch cubes
1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup clam juice
1 pound (21-25 count) peeled and de-veined shrimp
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

// Shrimp and Grits Recipe Courtesy of James Beard Award winning chef Hugh Acheson

True stone-ground grits take a really long time to cook, about an hour or more. The longer and more gentle the cooking, the plumper and richer the grits will be. We get our hominy grits from Anson Mills in Columbia, South Carolina, but there are a number of great grist mills dotting the South for you to choose from.

Hominy is made of corn kernels that have been nixtamalized, dried, and then ground. Nixtamalization is the process of soaking in an alkaline solution, which plumps up the corn and makes the corn more digestible through the conversion of niacin. The same alkaline, or lime solution, is often used to crisp cucumbers prior to pickling.

This shrimp and grits recipe is the work of Dean Neff, favorite sous. Favorite sous is the restaurant equivalent of favorite son. Dean is from Tybee Island, Georgia, off the coast of Savannah, and they sure know their shrimp and grits down that way. He is also a very skilled chef.

I love shrimp and grits for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

In a nonreactive 2-quart saucepan combine 3 cups of water, a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and the grits. Place on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. As soon as the water boils, reduce to a simmer. Switch your whisk for a wooden spoon as the grits thicken. Cook the grits, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for an hour. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of cold butter and set the cooked grits aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch fry pan over medium heat, and when the butter bubbles and froths add the onion, celery, and andouille. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the garlic, red peppers, tomatoes, Old Bay, and chile flakes. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add the tomato juice and clam juice. Stir well and reduce the liquid for about 2 minutes.

Season the shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and add the shrimp to the pan. Stir well to combine and cook them for 5 minutes. The cooked shrimp should be just white, no longer translucent, but not chalky and dry. The consistency should be like a shrimp and tomato sauce.

Add the remaining butter to the pan and finish with the thyme, parsley, and lemon juice.

Place about 3/4 cup of grits on each plate and then spoon a quarter of the stewed shrimp, pepper, and tomatoes over each pile of grits. Serve immediately.

Serves 4