Shrimp & Grits / by Anthony Michael Contrino

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I'm pretty sure I'm a southerner at heart.  There's something about soul food that gets me all tingly inside - fried chicken, mac and cheese, biscuits...  YUM!!!

Southern food is not just delicious, but simplistic, non-pretentious, and most importantly, unapologetic.  There is no lack of butter, shortening, cheese and frying oil in the southern kitchen, but thankfully not all dishes will consume your daily calories in one sitting, including this one.

Shrimp & Grits // Serves 6

For the grits:

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups corn grits

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

 

For the shrimp:

1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on

2 tsp. blackening seasoning

6 slices bacon

4 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup scallions, thinly sliced on a bias

Parsley, chopped, for serving

Sea salt

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a stock pot. 
  2. While whisking constantly, sprinkle in the grits.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the grits thicken, 20-25 minutes.
  4. Stir in the butter, pepper and cheeses and mix until melted.
  5. Season with salt, to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, make the shrimp.
  7. In a bowl, combine the shrimp and blackening seasoning and toss to coat.
  8. Warm a large seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the bacon and cook until crispy.
  10. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the skillet; drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle.
  11. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook the shrimp until bright pink on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  12. Add the lemon juice, garlic and scallions and sauté 1-2 minutes, tossing often.
  13. Serve the shrimp over the grits.  Add a sprinkling of crumbled bacon and garnish with chopped parsley.