I posted a recipe for Shrimp and Grits a couple months ago. I’ve recently deleted it. Why you ask? Well, I recently saw an episode of ‘Throwdown with Bobby Flay‘ and the challenge was Shrimp & Grits. And after watching this episode, and seeing how the challenged amatuer chef, Joe Barnett cooked his version, it so reminded me of how a high school friend’s mother made hers so many years ago. I’m not sure if this is the recipe she used, but it seems so similar that it’s kind of bizarre. From the marinating of the shrimp, to the cheesy grits, to the roux…it’s pretty much the same I think. I haven’t seen Tina for a long long time, so I have no way of asking her if she even remembers her mom making this for us. But I certainly do. So I’m very happy I watched this episode, and though the original recipe of mine was actually quite tasty, I’m happy to toss it for this one!
As I’ve stated in prior posts, the majority of the recipes on this blog are my own, have been passed down to me, or given to me from friends or family. This recipe is exactly as written by Joe Barnett.
I do make a few changes when I make this recipe though, just to accommodate my own personal taste; I don’t use the Italian seasoning, and and I cut back a bit on the other seasoning for the shrimp, and I used bacon instead of ham. Everything else stays the same. As you can see by looking at this recipe on the Food Network website, his recipe has received rave reviews when made as written, so enjoy!!
1 1/2 pounds (26-30 count) Wild Georgia Shrimp
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (recommended: Tone’s Louisiana Cajun seasoning)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (recommended: Knorr)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup quick grits (recommended: Quaker)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 1/2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Texas Pete)
1 slice sugar-cured country ham
First, peel and devein the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp to coat well and set the shrimp aside.
Next, make your grits. In a medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don’t skimp on the butter and the cream, folks.
Now saute the shrimp. In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they’re just done and tender. Don’t overcook. Remove the shrimp from the saute pan and set them aside in a bowl. You can taste 1 or 2, to see if they’re okay.
The roux is next. With all those wonderful drippings from the shrimp in the saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir with a wooden spatula to make a roux. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until roux reaches a medium-tan color, then slowly add the chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
And last, a little country ham. Cook 1 center slice of cured country ham in a saute pan, and cut into cubes.
To serve, and this is the best part-place a few heaping spoonfuls of steaming cheese grits onto a place, top with several sizzling shrimp. Drizzle that wonderful roux sauce over top of the shrimp, and sprinkle on a few cubes of country ham. Enjoy.