Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Excellent Grits!

For a brunch buffet, splendid.  For lunch with a salad, perfect.  For dinner alongside or under seafood or fish, scrumptious.  Grits go anywhere, plain or fancy, they're one of my favorite pantry items.  I hardly ever eat a normal breakfast, so the resulting affect leaves me craving breakfast foods.  Consequently, breakfast becomes dinner and it's shrimp and grits. Since I live in Deep South USA I've had some mighty good grits, but I'm confident my Southern roots can step up to the plate.  No pun intended.

Anny's Baked Grits and Saucy Shrimp
Baked Grits

1-1/2 cups water
1 cup grits
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Havarti cheese
Romano cheese
Black Pepper

Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a simmer and slowly shower the grits into the pot while stirring briskly with a whisk.  The mixture will become thick fairly quickly, so add the 2 cups milk in a steady stream and stir until smooth.  Add salt to taste and reduce the heat to low. Drop in a few nubs of butter and stir. 

Meanwhile, beat the eggs well and add the remaining 1/2 cup milk.  Grate about 1/2 cup or so Havarti cheese and sprinkle over the egg/milk mixture.  Grate 1/4 cup Romano cheese and add along with a sprinkling of black pepper.  Stir well.

When the grits are just almost done, temper the egg/milk mixture with a dollop of the grits while whisking vigorously.  Do this a couple more times until the mixture is warmed sufficiently and mixed well.  Pour this mixture into the grits and mix until well blended.  Pour into a casserole dish that has been generously buttered and bake at 350 until the grits are puffed and slightly golden brown on top.

Saucy Shrimp

Olive oil
Ponzu Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Green onions
Flat leaf parsley
Hot pepper

The shrimp should be peeled and deveined; I used about a pound or so.  To a large saute pan or wok add some olive oil and butter.  Heat until the butter begins to slightly color and toss in the shrimp. Stir to cook evenly.  When the shrimp begin to turn pink, splash in a generous amount of Ponzu and stir.  Add about a quarter cup of oyster sauce and stir.  By this time the shrimp should be done so remove from the heat and add chopped green onions,  chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley and a finely minced hot pepper. 

The pepper can be any you prefer. I have Tabasco plants in my little garden so I used 2 little Tabasco peppers.  Make it as hot as you like. 

Stir well.  If the sauce has reduced a bit too much, add a bit more Ponzu or even a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove to a warm bowl.

Saucy! Really delicious!
To serve, scoop a portion of the baked grits onto a plate and drizzle some of the sauce from the shrimp over the grits then top with several juicy shrimp. 

Note: I love using Ponzu for so many things. It's a citrus blend mixed with light soy sauce.