Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits

shrimp and fresh corn grits
I went to college in South Carolina. In the four years I lived there I really don’t remember ever eating grits. I’ve been back to visit a number of times but I never choose grits off the menu. Why? I really don’t know. Maybe I like everything that much more & I’m afraid of change. I did have grits at the fabulous wedding we attended in Charleston back in April but other than that time I can’t remember the last time before that was. Nevertheless, I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine & I felt like I had to try to make it.

First up was finding “grits” in my local Hoboken, NJ grocery store. Given that it’s a Southern staple I didn’t think I’d have much luck finding it here. My assumption was true. There wasn’t one package (that I could find) that was labeled “grits” so I found the next best thing (which in my opinion is the same thing) - coarse ground cornmeal. I’ve used it to make polenta before so I took a gamble thinking it would work for grits.

You might be thinking: what’s the difference between grits & polenta? So did I. I really have no idea. Seems to me it’s a matter of semantics, read more about the theory on that here.

Chris doesn’t remember being a huge fan of grits either but I have a feeling we’ll be having this for dinner again very soon - it’s that good. I now love grits or at least these grits!

Recipe (adapted slightly) from Bon Appetit

  • 3 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup grits (not instant) - or coarse ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion or large shallot, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (the original recipe calls for 2 cloves but we like garlic here)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or ½ tsp. smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1½ pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped for plating (the original uses chopped chives but I didn’t have any)

Make it!
  1. Grate 2 ears of corn on the large holes of a box grater over a medium bowl, catching as much juice as possible; set aside. 
  2. Cut kernels from remaining ear of corn into another medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. 
  4. Reduce heat so liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer, whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20–25 minutes. 
  5. Mix in butter and reserved grated corn; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  7. Cook onions until translucent.
  8. Add garlic, oregano, and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  9. Add reserved kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.
  10. Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  11. Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with parsley.

shrimp and fresh corn grits

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