There is almost nothing more Southern than Shrimp and Grits…it is a wonderful dish! There are lots of ways to make it and this is a great one…but it takes some time. There are 3 parts to this recipe. You have your grits…your sauce…and your shrimp. You need 3 pans to make this recipe, then at the end you will ladle a little of each into your bowl and sit down to a little bit of Southern Heaven!
BBQ SHRIMP & GRITS
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups grits (NOT the quick cooking, instant kind…get the stone ground kind)
1 stick butter
14 ounce can creamed corn
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, grated
8 strips applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced shallots
3 Tablespoons butter
1 large portobello mushroom cap, sliced
2 green onions, diced
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
2 cups heavy cream
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (at least 24 shrimp, so that each person gets 6 or more)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce of your choice (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar)
1.Begin this by starting your grits in a very large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in your chicken stock and bring to a boil. Slowly add your grits and stir while you are adding so that they don’t clump together. Reduce the heat to low and cover, stirring every so often. This will take about 30-40 minutes…keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!!!
2. Next begin to prepare the sauce. Fry your bacon in a large skillet until crisp…remove and drain on a paper towel. Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of the bacon grease and save that to pour over your doggie’s dinner…they will LOVE YOU! To the remaining bacon grease in the pan, add your garlic and shallots and saute for about a minute. Add your butter, mushrooms, green onions and chopped spinach and saute for about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and simmer. Stir and simmer. Reduce this sauce by about 1/3. Season the sauce with your hot sauce, salt and pepper AFTER it has reduced…NOT before. Keep on very, very low heat until ready to serve.
3. Now it’s time to make the shrimp. This will only take a few minutes. You should have already cleaned it and have it all ready to go. Pour olive oil into your pan and heat over medium heat. Add your garlic. Add your shrimp. Cook until they are cooked through…turn them over to get them cooked evenly. This will only take a minute or two, they cook fast. When finished, sprinkle them with a liberal amount of blackened seasoning. Toss them around the pan. Add your BBQ sauce and toss to coat. Keep on very, very low heat until ready to serve.
4. Check your grits…if they look too thick, you can thin them a little with some hot water, but don’t make them too thin. Add the butter, creamed corn, heavy cream and shredded Gouda. Stir well after adding each one so that you give them a chance to melt into your hot grits. Now stir, stir, stir the grits until they are nice and smooth. Add more hot water to thin them out if necessary but do NOT make them too thin…you want them to hold up to the weight of the shrimp and sauce you will put on top, but you don’t want them too thick either.
5. To put everything together, ladle some hot grits into a bowl, top with a few spoons of the sauce and top with at least 6 shrimp per person…and enjoy!
You can reheat this in the microwave the next day if you have leftovers….IF you have leftovers. SERVES 4.