Shrimp and Grits – Take Two

I know I have posted a shrimp and grits recipe before, but that was more like week night quick and easy, down and dirty shrimp and girts. This recipe however is David’s pride and joy. Probably the best thing he makes, and we don’t have it often, but when we do its like it gets better every time. This recipe is from The Lee Brothers cookbook, and it is straight up Southern Deliciousness!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Large, headless shrimp, shells on
  • 3 CUPS WATER
  • 2 TEASPOONS LEE BROS.
  • SHRIMP BOIL recipe follows
  • 1 1⁄2 CUPS STONE-GROUND GRITS
  • 1 1⁄2 CUPS WHOLE MILK
  • 3 CUPS WATER
  • 2 PINCHES KOSHER SALT more to taste
  • FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER to taste
  • 1 POUND TOMATILLOS, GREEN TOMATOES OR TOMATOES
  • about 6 large tomatillos or
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 TABLESPOON MINCED JALAPEÑO
  • PEPPER about 1 jalapeño
  • 3 SLICES THICK-CUT BACON diced
  • 3 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 1⁄2 CUP CHOPPED GREEN
  • BELL PEPPER
  • 1⁄2 CUP CHOPPED YELLOW ONION
  • 1 TABLESPOON PLUS 1 TEASPOON
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

Instructions:

Peel the shrimp and save the shells! In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the shells and the shrimp boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth (you should have about 11⁄2 cups) and reserve. Discard the shells.

While the broth simmers, stir the grits into a bowl of cold water and allow to settle. Corn hulls may float to the surface. Skim off the hulls and drain the grits. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and the 3 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the grits, stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium, add the salt and simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the grits thicken (about 10 minutes), reduce the heat to very low and cook, stirring frequently and adding water if the grits become too stiff. Cook until the grits are fluffy and creamy, 35 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve, we also added butter and cheese to ours for a little extra flavor.

While the grits cook, remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and place them (or the tomatoes) in a medium roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Broil them about 3 inches from the flame or heating element, turning them as their skins blacken, until they are blackened all over, 7 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the tomatillos to a food processor or blender and pulse to a soupy liquid, about three 5-second pulses (less for tomatoes). Press the liquid through a food mill or fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl (you should have about 2 cups). Add the jalapeño and reserve.

Scatter the bacon in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. With a slotted spoon, move the pieces around until the bacon is firm and just golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat and add the butter, bell pepper and onion. Sauté until the pepper and onion just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the shrimp broth into a small bowl, add the flour and whisk until it becomes a smooth paste. Pour the remaining shrimp broth into the skillet with the pepper and onion. When the broth simmers, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer vigorously until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour paste to the pan, whisking vigorously to distribute the flour evenly through the broth. Add the sieved tomatillo-jalapeño mixture to the skillet, stirring, and return to a simmer. Cook until the gravy thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon heavily, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Add the shrimp and continue cooking until they are pink and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Then serve the gravy on top of the fluffy grits and enjoy! Compliments to the Lee Brothers for their creation of the out of this world recipe, and of course chef David, for recreating it…. and a challenge accepted to our friend Matt who wants to take on David in a Shrimp and Grits cook off. I am hoping this happens soon, so we can indulge in LOTS of shrimp and grits! So good!

 

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