Grits are stone-ground corn (white or yellow) and the texture leaves much to be desired. Made with water and seasoned with salt and pepper, it's a staple on breakfast menus everywhere. Upscale restaurants serve them with shrimp, fish, and an up-charge of $20. [insert ironic scoff here]
A true grit lover scoffs at instant or quick-cooking grits; only long-cooking stone-ground grits are worth eating. Grits are served as a side dish for breakfast and in recent times, for dinner and are traditionally doctored up with butter, milk, cream and sometimes sugar.
|The ubiquitous Southern staple: Shrimp and grits.|
1 cup stone-ground grits
4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
1 large garlic clove, minced
Bring milk and butter to a slow boil. Stir in grits with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the low and cook the grits until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. The grits should have the same consistency as oatmeal (moist, not dry). If the grits become too thick, add water to thin. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.
Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add mushrooms, the lemon juice, half-and-half, parsley, green onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or just until mushrooms release their moisture.
Next, add the shrimp and until shrimp turn pink. Remove the skillet from the heat. Pour the grits into a serving dish. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with the bacon bits.