I’ve had shrimp & grits on my mind since Sarah, the home cook on Ludo Lefebvre’s team in the first season of The Taste made it for her ‘comfort food’ challenge and I noticed it on the menu at the new eating establishment in the Mama’s Food shop, Heart & Soul for $20. This put the fire under my tail to whip a batch up for myself for way less than half of what a restaurant charge.
The first time I had shrimp & grits was at The Cotton Exchange Tavern along the Savannah river in Savannah, GA. Probably the best place to have it – and yes it was!
After reading I wouldn’t want to tell you how many recipes for shrimp & grits, I got down to it the day before my birthday, a cold, miserable, grey, windy, & rainy day – at breakfast time.
I de-veined a half dozen shrimp meticulously I got at The Essex Street Market. I love work like this sometimes but a friend of mine bought me a bag of Trader Joe’s, 15 count, colossal, uncooked Wild Blue Shrimp for my birthday since I went off on how killer the dish turned out to be. – They’re just perfect for this recipe.
Here’s what I used:
For the creamy polenta:
1 C milk to 1/4 C of polenta – soaked in water.
Smashed garlic clove, peppercorns, bay leaves
1 T tomato paste or sauce
a knob of butter
For the shrimp:
4-6 Dveined shrimp
Salt of D Earth, RhODy blend & yellow corn meal for coating the shrimp dusting
Olive oil & Salt of D Earth
1 med. onion – diced
2 good sized garlic dents – minced
Sriracha Hot chili sauce
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
What I did:
I start by infusing & scalding the milk w/the smashed garlic clove, peppercorns & a few bay leaves. Strain the infused milk over a bowl. This is the milk you’ll make the polenta in. Hydrate the polenta in an equal amount of water. I find this is a trick to keeping the polenta from clumping when adding it to the scaled milk.
I Dfrosted 6 colossal, 15 count shrimp in a small bowl, overnight in the refrigerator.
Coat the the thawed shrimp with yellow corn meal or flour & my Salt of D earth – I used the RhODy blend which is perfect for this dish.
Sauté the diced onion & minced garlic in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a saute pan. Add the shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. pour in a swig of beer & some hot sauce. Turn the heat off & cover the pan.
Reheat the milk over a medium heat. Pour in & mix the hydrated polenta. Once the polenta begins to bubble stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste or a splash of tomato sauce & then a knob of butter. Mix well.
Pour onto two plates. Top with the shrimp & sauce from the pan. Garnish with sliced scallions, diced tomato or maybe avocado & a squeeze of lemon juice and have yourself a breakfast of champions.