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Shrimp and Grits.

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I ran a special at my restaurant this last weekend of shrimp and grits.  It was a tough sell mainly because everyone has such a bad vision of grits.  They think of Waffle House, plain white grits. 

 

I made them out of corn meal cooked, mixed with cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, a little Old Bay seasoning, butter and half and half.  They came out great.  I then sauteed green and red bell pepper, celery, scallions and De-veined shrimp in butter and topped it all off with crispy bacon. 

 

After I made a few orders and gave out a few samples, people quickly realized they're not Waffle House grits, but instead a cheesy, cream polenta cooked with fresh ingredients.  The sold out like hot cakes!  Sold out in ONE NIGHT!  It was supposed to be a weekend special.  Needless to say I will be doing them again this weekend and stocking up a lot more. 

 

 

Heres a pic: 

417299_393051634042583_100000132486512_1768274_722183006_n.jpg

post #2 of 36

Well, unless you can clarify, corn meal is not grits. Grits are ground from hominy. I think corn mean and grits are quite different though not really a fan of either in the soft fresh mushy form that so many love.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

Yea I did alot of reading up on here about the differences between cornmeal, grits, polenta, etc... And I just decided to go with polenta.  Worked out great.

post #4 of 36

Glad to see people adopting regional flair.I use to braise pork belly(thick cut bacon) in red wine and demi and laid a shrimp next to it on grits.Cheers or check out red dog or big dog in the Carolina's they have it on their menu

post #5 of 36

Do not be so pretentious.We all know what they mean

post #6 of 36

This is probably a case where the "name" of the dish means more than it should.  Outside of certain limited regions of the US, I suspect that promoting the dish as "shrimp and polenta" would attract more customers than "shrimp and grits".

 

Looks good.  I'll have to try it myself.

post #7 of 36

Hominy and corn meal are basically identical, except that hominy is treated with lye or lime(not the fruit.) Besides that, they both can be finely or coarsely ground, which most grits are coarser than most corn meal. The taste is very similiar, and I have used both for either grits or polenta. Plain grits are pretty horrible, as is plain polenta, butter and cheese make both delicious. 

 

MrMexico's shrimp and grits looks good. MrMexico, do you get local shrimp?

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

Being from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, I'm not sure if there's really, true LOCAL shrimp - but in any case no.  In this case I used frozen tiger shrimp (shell and tail on, no heads), 21/25 I believe it was. 

post #9 of 36

Oh My Gravy All Over!! 

I mean, come on, that dish MrMexico25 is just killin’ me!!

I love cheese grits and then throw in some shrimp and BACON!!!  Yah Man!!

When our German shepherd got very sick and could eat kibble, the vet suggested that I make foods for him, such as polenta and the like. 

He knew that when I got out my BIG pot I was making something yummy for him.  Grits with loads of butter he could handle, funny huh?

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post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 

Kane you weren't the only one!  Like I said, after I gave out a few samples, I couldn't stop selling them!  It was an instant hit, and probably a new permanent menu item!

post #11 of 36

Yummy! 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 36

Call it what you like but I really like shrimp and grits.  I uses grits and polenta interchangeably. They are really the same thing.  Polenta being more often yellow corn and grits white.  I just picked up a bag of stone ground yellow corn grits.  When cooked properly grits will have a creamy texture and does do well with flavor enhancers and texture enhances like butter, cream and or cheese.  S and P of course.

 

Mrmexico25, your dish looks really nice

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post #13 of 36

I wanted ask, I’ve tried to make my polenta

(just for arguments sake, using just plain ole' yellow corn meal)

 to stay on the looser side and not seize up to a polenta cake before it hits the table?

My Mom & I really like it that way.  She would love this dish!  And I was thinking of trying it for her in the next couple of weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the firmer version fried in a big ole’ pat a butter, makein’ it all crispy around the edges

(Oh My Gosh I’m Making Myself Drool!)

HA!  You'd never know that I'm "just a little Hawaiian girl, a homesick Island gal"? 

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post #14 of 36

Slow cooker.biggrin.gif

post #15 of 36

HUH?  Really, in the slow cooker?  Could you expand on that?

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post #16 of 36

You can make polenta in a slow cooker.  You can also hold it in a slow cooker on warm till you are ready to serve.

 

Here's a recipe from Anson Mills that works pretty well:

 

http://www.ansonmills.com/recipes-corn-10.htm

 

I think you get better texture cooking on high for a shorter period of time than cooking on low for longer (6 hours).  I generally make twice as much (2 cups) and cook it for about 2 hours.  I imagine times will vary somewhat depending on your slow cooker and how much you are making.

 

Of course, adding more water to the recipe will give you a "looser" polenta if that is what you want.

post #17 of 36

I always try to make extra grits/polenta.  It's great once cold to slice it and fry it up

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post #18 of 36

As WillBKool stated, grits and polenta ARE DIFFERENT.  Polenta is made from coarsely ground dried corn. Grits is made from even more coarsely ground hominy-dried corn treated with food grade lime, an alkali. The taste is similar to the finely ground masa corn used for making tortillas. Properly made grits should be little soft grains with a bit of bite surrounded by creamy cooked meal, not uniformly soft mush like you get with soft polenta.

 

The reason corn is treated with lime is to counteract the vitamin B3 (niacin) leaching that occurs in diets based on corn as the staple carbohydrate. Without this treatment, people who eat diets based heavily on corn often develop a disease called pellegra. Indigenous Americans somehow knew that treating their dried corn with lime (the mineral, not the fruit) would reduce the occurance of this debilitating disease.

 

My late friend, Bill Neal, popularized Shrimp and Grits at his restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC called Crook's Corner and his famous cookbook "Southern Cooking" which was then honored by the James Beard Foundation in the early '80s. Since then, we've seen many people offer their own version of the dish with various additions, but to me, Bill's is the best. Simply sauteed shrimp, garlic, scallions, mushrooms, bacon, lemon juice and parsley over creamy cheese grits (sharp cheddar and parmesan.)

 

One thing I cannot abide though, is people saying grits and polenta are the same. Each are good in their own, similar way, but "grits is grits",  "polenta is italian."

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post #19 of 36

Grits with Sausage gravy ALL over!

YUM!!  (a couple of peices of Bacon on the side makes everything better)

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post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 

Meh, I'm not into disputing the difference of grits and polenta (now that I know what the differences actually are, I thank you), and that was not my intention of this post.  I'm merely sharing my dish!  I do appreciate the knowledge though, I still will refer to it on my menu board as Shrimp and Grits (people don't care if its polenta, or grits, and "Shrimp and Polenta" just doesn't have that same ring to it.)  To me, the differences are small enough so if I do get questioned, I can explain, "its actually a cheesy polenta, similar to grits" so they don't get offended...

post #21 of 36

 

Quote:
Grits is made from even more coarsely ground hominy-dried corn treated with food grade lime, an alkali.

This is true of hominy grits, but not all grits are hominy grits.

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post #22 of 36

Call it what you want, it looks like a pretty solid dish to me. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of bacon in shrimp and grits. Get's a bit overpowering. The recipe I always use is pretty similar with the addition of white wine and a touch of cream in the sauce.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #23 of 36

Where is your restaurant I want to try your shrimp and grits!

 

blsenf98

post #24 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blsenf98 View Post

Where is your restaurant I want to try your shrimp and grits!

 

blsenf98

Were Big Daddy's Ship Store, a floating marina restaraunt on Grapevine Lake near DFW airport in Tx.  Mind you, being on a lake means our menu is seasonal.  Shrimp and Grits usually only fly durin the warmer months ;) 

 

PM me for details

post #25 of 36

I've never really messed with grits before, I would like to have them on our menu this spring but I have a couple questions. First off, how can you hold the grits once they are cooked? Can you par-cook them to certain point then finish in a saute pan? I assume that if I make a big pot for service they will set up right? I want to stay away from instant for sure but was thinking about using quick grits... I was also thinking that if I use "real" grits I would have a better chance of par-cooking without them turning to shit as they sit. Anyway, any help from you fine southern folk would be appreciated!

post #26 of 36

I'd really need a good southern cook to hold my hand and teach me how to make proper grits. To be honest, everytime I had some, I was rather underwhelmed, but I think there is something to it when done right.

post #27 of 36

A friend of mine gave me some grits from Booneville Flour & Feed.  So good we placed a joint order and they came in last week.  These are some of the best grits I've made in a long time.  Better than Red Mills IMO.  Also got some other product.  Take a look - I am not affiliated just a happy customer.

 

http://www.boonvillemill.com/Products.html

post #28 of 36

there's the "mechanical" aspect and the "flavoring" aspect.

 

using Quaker Oats "Old Fashion" grits - not the instant cooking kind....

I make two sizes:

 

55 grams grits to 375 grams of water

85 grams grits to 565 grams of water

 

get the warm warm to simmering, add salt to taste

using a whisk, slowly stir in the girts

switch to wooden spoon after grits set up a bit.

add 2 tsp (small batch) / 1 tbsp (large batch) butter - optional

 

simmer gently for about 10 minutes

care required; it gets thick it will burn on the bottom; flame tamer good idea...

you can 'adjust' the consistency to your preference at the end.

 

longer they cook, thicker they get - a lot of folk fine pasty thick grits unappealing, me included.

but I find 'thinning down' grits that have gone to glue not a workable solution.

 

grits are corn; some salt needed

 

must be thousands of different "flavorings" -

grated cheese topping one of our favs

you can also mix cheese into the girts in the pot

eggs bacon grits with a dollop of maple syrup

(breakfast) gravies of every sort - white, red-eye

post #29 of 36

Old post but a good one at that. The whole Grits, corn meal, polenta discussion has been covered so.............

 

When you are talking about grits, the hands down place to purchase them from is.......Logan Turnpike Mills in Blairsville, Georgia! Their website is easily found on the web and they will ship everywhere.

 

There are many versions to this so I don't want to say this is not an authentic version. One thing about shrimp grits is, they have a deep heritage completely rooted in the South's Low-Country so I would say the topping with whole shrimp is a more modern version. Yet, the method I'm most familiar and fond of doesn't use whole shrimp as a topping, but rather the shrimp is made into a paste and then topped on the hot, steaming grits.

 

I learned this from a Chef I worked with in Atlanta, Scott Peacock. He called for us to stir the shrimp paste into the grits and per his quote, "this gives the grits a very nice coral hue". I believe Edna Lewis was the one who inspired this on his menu and she has some wonderful and in many cases very simple old southern recipes. I even believe some date back to before the "war between the states". Anyhow, the flavor is carried through the grits and is out of this world!

 

It's typically served with toast points for dipping but have used warm or toasted flat-bread and also, grilled flat-bread (raw dough grilled over wood fire) with success. This version of the dish makes a great side-dish, accompaniment or appetizer. For an entree, I would suggest sticking with the version of whole shrimp and other ingredients as a topping. I would tend to believe this is the version most of our guests would picture in their minds when ordering.


Edited by oldschool1982 - 3/10/14 at 6:30am
post #30 of 36

#FleetLanding in Charleston South Carolina...

Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage and Tasso Ham gravy. This was my first time trying Shrimp and Grits and I must say, not my last, WOW! If I could have licked the bowl I would have. I wanted to get up and dance, it was that spectacular of a dish!

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