Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shrimp & Grits

My childhood friend Amy (who I now blog stalk) posted a recipe for shrimp and grits the other day on facebook that caught my attention.   Amy's family always made the *best* gumbo on "SOUPer Sunday" when we were kids.  They also own a restaurant & catering business in Covington, Louisiana.... so I knew it would be a fantastic recipe if Amy was mentioning it.  The Gaden Family knows good Louisiana food:)  I was right, it was fantastic.  Thank you Amy for sharing!!!
The recipe Amy shared on facebook is by Nealy Crawford-Frenz, a chef in Covington, Louisiana (where I grew up, woot woot).  It has been published in Louisiana Cooking Magazine and can be found here.  I had some fresh corn from our farm share last week, so this was perfect timing.  The original recipe made enough food (in my "eat as light as a bird" opinion) to feed a large hungry family of 12.... so I'm cutting it in half for you.  I also swapped out the parm cheese for Gruyere.  In the spirit of sharing, here you are:

  ever so slightly adapted from this recipe by Nealy Crawford-Frenz


Sauce:

2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Carrot, diced (I grated mine)
1 Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
2 Stalks of Celery, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, pressed
2 TBSP Tomato Paste
1 (15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
1 (15 oz) can Crushed Tomatoes (I used diced and ran them in the food processor for a few seconds)
3 TBSP Vinegar
1/2 cup Shrimp Stock (I used Veggie stock)

Heat olive oil in a medium size pot.  Add carrot, onion, bell pepper and celery.  Cook until tender (about 5 - 10 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for one minute more.  Next stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vinegar & stock.  Simmer for 30 - 40 minutes.

Grits:

2 Ears of Corn
3 cups Water
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 TBSP Salt
4 TBSP Unsalted Butter
1 cup Grits
1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place corn husks directly on the oven racks and roast for 30 minutes until soft.  Allow to cool and then peel down the husks and cut corn off cob. 

In a medium pot, bring water, salt, butter & cream to a boil.  Add roasted corn and return to boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and stir in grits.  Cook 5 - 7 minutes until thick & creamy.  Add Cheese and remove from heat.

Shrimp:

20 - 35 count Louisiana Shrimp (I used a bag of frozen shrimp from Trader Joe's since I'm in DC)
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
Cheese for garnish

In a large skillet, butter & saute shrimp until halfway cooked.  Transfer shrimp to tomato sauce and simmer an additional 5 - 8 minutes. 

To Serve:

Spoon grits on plate.  Top with shrimp & sauce.  Garnish with cheese.  Eat and slip into your happy place.

Notes:  Like I said before, I am halving the recipe for you because it made *way* too much for our small family.  I didn't (and wouldn't) half the amount of shrimp though because the proportion of shrimp to grits/sauce was a bit small in my opinion (but we hoard shrimp in our house).  To save time in the future, I will serve roasted corn the night before and make two extra ears of corn for this recipe:)
I uh... have been shopping a lot at Trader Joe's if you can't tell.
Roasting corn in the oven in the husk is the *best*.  It retains so much more flavor that way.  I just give the corn silk a little haircut before it goes in the oven.
Da shrimp.
Gruyere cheese = happy mama.
First it will be bubbly... then gurgly:)
YUM!

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