Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shrimp and Grits with Roasted Corn

I had grits once when I was younger. They were gray, lumpy, gluey and looked totally unappetizing. I was unimpressed.

Then I actually tasted them.

Color me even more unimpressed.

Over the years I've heard people talk longingly of shrimp and grits and cheese grits and I would shudder and think, "How can anyone possibly EAT that?"

Then Renée set me straight about grits and corn grits.  She gave me her favorite recipe for corn grits with roasted corn, told me exactly what type of corn grits to buy, what to serve it with, and I was very interested. It sounded good, for sure- what's not to love about roasted corn, butter and heavy cream? So I filed it away for future reference.

For some reason, when I woke up today, I said to myself, "Now is the day for those grits, and I feel the need for spicy shrimp to go with it." Maybe it's the cold and dreary weather making me yearn for something hot. Maybe it was the fact that I caught sight of the bag of corn grits yesterday when I was hunting around for the bag of tapioca pearls. Who knows? Long story short, the recipe is fantastic and I am a grits convert.

The spicy and still sweetish shrimp contrast perfectly with the creaminess of the grits. It's insane.

I can't wait to try out cheese grits next. :)

Shrimp and Grits with Roasted Corn

Serves 3

For the grits:
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground corn grits
  • 3 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 t Creole seasoning or Old Bay
  • 2 T chives 
  • 2 T butter
  • heavy cream

For the corn:
  • corn from 2 ears of fresh corn (about 1-1/2 cups kernels)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1/8 t granulated garlic
  • 1/8 t smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

For the shrimp
  • 9 medium cleaned shrimp, raw
  • Old Bay or Creole seasoning
  • chopped green onion

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Toss the kernels of corn and onion in a bowl with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and smoked paprika.
  3. Add the melted butter and toss well.
  4. Spread in the foil-lined pan and roast for 25 minutes, stirring them once half-way through.
  5. While the corn is roasting, bring 3 cups of lightly salted water to boil and add the corn grits, lowering the heat to low. Stir frequently to be sure that it doesn't stick. Careful, like oatmeal, bubbles might burst out and splatter you with wicked-hot starchy grain. Ouch.
  6. After about 10 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon of Creole seasoning or Old Bay and fresh chives. Stir well and let cook another 15 - 20 minutes.
  7. Once it has cooked through and is the thickness you like, add about 1/2 of the roasted corn and onion to the grits and stir well. Set aside the remaining corn and onions. 
  8. Add the butter and stir well to let it melt. Then add heavy cream to achieve the consistency you like. I only used a few tablespoons. Taste to check and adjust seasoning. You may want more spice or more cream.
  9. Season the shrimp with Creole seasoning or Old Bay. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and sear the shrimp for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip them, cover the skillet and let them cook another minute or two until done, but be careful not to overcook them.
  10. Divide the corn grits between 3 bowls and top with the remaining roasted corn and onion. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and top with seared shrimp.

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