Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
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This recipe features grits with fresh white sweet corn, topped with a rich tomato gravy and deep fried shrimp, then finished with crumbled bacon.

INGREDIENTS

Grits

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups stone ground grits
  • 2 ears white sweet corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tomato Gravy

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 green onions, divided
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 ounces okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (optional)

Shrimp

  • 2 cups peanut oil or other vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine water, milk, butter, and salt in a large saucepan and bring just to a boil. Whisk in grits until incorporated. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until thick, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often. If mixture gets too thick, add a little more milk or water.
  2. Cut kernels off corn cobs, and using the back of the knife, carefully scrape the cob to release the creamy corn milk. Stir corn kernels and corn milk into grits and continue cooking until grits are creamy and tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer, stirring often. Stir in pepper and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil and bacon slices in a single layer, and cook until bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.  Remove bacon from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Crumble bacon once cool enough to handle. Reserve drippings in the skillet and return skillet to medium-high heat. 
  4. Finely slice green onions and reserve green ends for garnish. Add white parts of green onion, onion, green and red bell peppers, and okra to the skillet and cook until softened and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add fresh tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add butter to mixture and allow it to melt. Sprinkle flour over skillet and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add in tomatoes, with juices, and stock while stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in sugar, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, and return mixture to a simmer. Cook gravy for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  6. Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk eggs in a bowl; add shrimp and stir to coat. In a shallow dish, whisk flour, salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  7. Working a few at a time, remove shrimp from egg, allowing excess to drip off, and lightly coat in flour mixture. Transfer shrimp to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp. 
  8. Working in batches, add shrimp to hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on a wire rack set over a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  9. To serve, place grits in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with about 1/2 cup of gravy and 6 to 8 shrimp. Top with crumbled bacon, and sprinkle with green onions and parsley if desired.

 

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