Things that make me say “y’all”

May 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

Been wondering what awesome looks like? This is it, right here.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but as a general rule I have not been fond of seafood. Fish and chips (it’s battered and fried — what’s not to like?), yes, but otherwise, not so much. As I’ve been cooking more, though, I’ve been reading recipes and descriptions of seafood that just sounds delicious. So over the past couple of years, I’ve been making an effort to try more seafood, both different types and different preparations. There was that salmon a while back, which was pretty tasty, but I don’t think I’m going to become a regular salmon eater. A few months ago, though, I discovered shrimp, in all its shrimpy goodness and glory, and now I find myself craving shrimp once or twice a week (at least).

Now, I do have very specific needs when it comes to shrimp: they must be warm, and they must be either small or cut up into bite-sized chunks. No Jumbo Shrimp for me, thankyouverymuch. But, as long as those conditions are met, I adore shrimp. I especially adore shrimp when they’re all Southern’ed up… barbecued, for instance. So I was pretty excited when Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for butter-poached shrimp served over bacon grits came across my interwebs.

Y’all. I cannot even tell you how mind-blowingly delicious this is. I did change it up just a skosh from Mr. Ruhlman’s recipe, namely by adding cheese to the grits and leaving out the onion. Also, since I added the cheese, it wasn’t necessary to add the butter from the poaching (don’t worry — it didn’t go to waste…I used it later when I needed to make a roux for my gumbo, which I will tell you all about in another post). I also adjusted the timing a little, and I halved the recipe (which ended up being about 2 servings for me). Here’s how I did it:

Recipe

(adapted from Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto by Michael Ruhlman, as reprinted on publicradio.org)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 1/4 c old fashioned grits (NOT instant. Seriously, y’all. If you’re gonna use instant grits you might as well just stop right now.)
  • 1/2 c diced bacon, cooked
  • 1/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

In small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add grits and stir, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let cook for at least 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

When the grits have about 5 minutes left, melt butter a couple of tablespoons at a time in a saucepan just large enough to hold your shrimp (I used a 3qt saucepan for the 1/2 lb), stirring constantly. When all of the butter is melted, add the shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes. Shrimp should be cooked through. Remove from heat.

While the shrimp are poaching, uncover the grits and and stir in the bacon, heating it through. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Plate the grits, then spoon the shrimp over them.

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