What to do with a pound of leftover shrimp?
- Well, put it in my belly- for one thing. I looked around the kitchen and tried to see what fabulous way I could prepare the shrimp without having to go to the grocery store.
- "Well, we have pasta- but that is likely not to be fabulous enough. I could throw them on the smoker, but I think Mariah will probably boycott if I pull out the whole rig after last weekend's adventure..."
- Then i remembered an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown did some shrimp flambe. Then I got excited.
- That's right! You, me, Frank and Carl- we gonna get some shrimp:
- Yeah, that should work. The idea was extra intriguing because Mariah and I had been robbed Friday of a saganaki explosion due to poor showmanship and a greek restaurant's low ceiling.
Mariah contributed the awesome grits- which to be honest was about 85% of the work. From Mariah:
I want to start this part of the post by saying that I am a Southern girl, that I can remember growing up being reared on the simple beauty of grits, but I can't. It isn't true. I hadn't actually had grits until I was in college, and even still I wasn't enamored with them.
But then somewhere along the line I was introduced to polenta. Polenta is what I like to think of as grits' ritzy cousin who speaks with a European accent. They aren't entirely different because they're both ground corn-ness. Polenta is the grind of the whole corn where as grits are the grind of the hominy. It's really up to your own taste (I'd suggest fooling around with both before making your final decision- who's it gonna hurt?) but I prefer the polenta (think it has more flavor).
|Cugino stupido! Lo sono la farina di mais superiore!|
Anyways. Polenta can be prepared in a myriad of ways, but one way to prepare it is to prepare it like you were preparing grits.
To cut to the chase here, the end product is smooth, creamy, sweet and salty and must be tried right away (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner). The recipe I used not only makes lots of the "grits" but also take them to another level.
Bobby Flay may get on my nerves, but that Yankee sure knows his Southern food:
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal (polenta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Cook the grits over moderate heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir the corn and the goat cheese into the grits, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
...or... you could take it another step further...
Back to Ron:
Ok, things are getting serious. Start here:
|Godspeed, old friend.|
Use a 10 inch pan. Heat the on medium high heat empty pan until water droplets hop. Add the shrimp and then the precious, precious bourbon. Give the bourbon a few seconds to heat up and start to vaporize, then light with a long match or grill starter.
Total Failure. Apparently, the heat was not high enough to get enough ethenol vapor for the fireworks.
Moderate success. I increased the heat and just left it on the burner:
Get delicious, shrimp!
We removed the shrimp from the pan with a slotted spoon and Mariah smartly added brown sugar and cinnamon to the bourbon/shrimp remains. We reduced it down a bit, plated the grits, then the delicous, perfect shrimp and drizzled on the bourbon reduction. We then sprinkled on some chopped green scallions.
Creamy, flavorful, rich and savory grits. The corn pops in your mouth and contrasts with the spongy chew of the bourbon shrimp. Warm, filling, rib-sticking. Delicate, subtle- what else can I say?