With plans to make our shrimp and grits from some of the wonderful fresh morsels we bought on the North Carolina coast over the weekend, we ended up with just 1 pound of the delightful crustacean for this recipe, we used the other two pounds for some New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp the day before, so when necessity calls, invention happens!
I thought, “What could I put in place of the missing 1 pound of shrimp that the recipe calls?” Sausage, and indeed I found a pound of smoked sausage in the freezer, quickly thawed it out and cut the link into small ½ inch cubes.
Taking the original shrimp and grits recipe that I posted on October 20, 2009, I have made a few modifications, and they include:
- Replacing 1 pound of shrimp with 1 pound of smoked sausage.
- Replacing the 2 cups of chicken stock with 1 cup shrimp and 1 cup fish stock for cooking the grits.
- Increased the amount of mushrooms from half-pound to a full pound.
- Increased the green onions to 1 cup, and dividing ¼ cup for garnish at the end.
- Added parmesan cheese for a garnish at the end.
Here is the commentary from the original recipe.
A few months ago, Ben got braces put on his teeth, and the staff at Gladwell orthodontics pleasantly treated us for what typically would be a traumatic event, had turned into a delightful time. You might be wondering what orthodontic braces have in common with a seafood dish, and you would be correct! Turns out that I was wearing my Emerils.com polo-style shirt with the logo that day and the assistant asked me if I worked for Emeril. The answer of course was yes I did, and no, not currently. Eventually the discussion turned to food, which seems to happen for me a lot, and the receptionist asked if I had a good recipe for shrimp and grits. At the time, I did not have an answer, but told her that a shrimp étouffée served over grits would most likely be very good, and that there was a recipe for that on my site. To this day, I have not tried the étouffée over grits, but now have this true shrimp and grits recipe to share. Therefore, Gladwell staff, this one is for you!
Shrimp and Grits is a Carolina favorite served up and down the coastline and into the Piedmont regions, found on many a local restaurant menu and seems to be a favorite for Sunday brunch menus as well. Now I have had Grillades and Grits, the old New Orleans favorite which is sort of veal stew served over grits, and it is some good too!
This recipe inspired by the Cooking up a Storm cookbook, with a few slight variations. The original recipe, found on page 137, has the preparation setting up the grits in a casserole dish and then finishing in the broiler or oven with the shrimp and cheese sauce. Therefore, a casserole style dish transforms into a plated entrée with this variation listed here.
Serves 6 portions
|4||Cups||Shrimp, fish, seafood stock, or a combination|
|1||Cup||Grits, instant or 5-minute|
|½||Lb.||Jarlsberg cheese or Swiss cheese, grated, divided|
|1||Lb.||Smoked sausage, ½ inch cubes|
|1||Lb.||Button mushrooms, sliced|
|1||Cup||Green onions, finely chopped (white and green parts), divided|
|½||Cup||Dry white wine|
|1||Lb.||Shrimp, medium-sized, peeled and deviened|
|1||Tsp||Cajun Spice Blend|
|¼||Cup||Parmesan cheese, grated|
|1.||In a large saucepan, bring the seafood stocks to a boil and add the grits, stirring well. Cook until thick but still pourable, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in ½ of the cheese and allow it to melt into the grits well. Turn off the heat, cover, and reserve for plating.|
|2.||Heat large sauté pan over medium high flame until hot, then add the sausage and brown well (see tip below). Stirring periodically to evenly brown the sausage. Remove from the pan and allow to drain on paper towels. Then add and melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, add 3/4 of the green onions, and garlic for 4 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Add the dry white wine and allow it to reduce just a bit, and then add the shrimp and the Cajun spice blend. Stir well and continue to cook until the shrimp are slightly undercooked. Then add the browned sausage back into the pan and stir well. Then fold in the remaining ½ of the shredded cheese and allow it to melt into the shrimp and sauce, stirring frequently. Garnish the top with the remaining 1/4 of the green onions and the parmesan cheese.|
|3.||Portion the grits evenly onto 6 serving plates and then spoon the shrimp evenly over them. Serve immediately. A side of cheesy garlic bread goes well with this dish.|
TIP: After cutting the smoked sausage pat the cubes dry with paper towels before adding them to the pan, this helps to get them to brown quicker and evenly.