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The Frog's Shrimp & Grits
A couple of years back we were at the Spring Bike Rally in Myrtle Beach, that's in South Carolina on the Atlantic coast for the uninitiated, and stopped in one of eateries across from the original Suck, Bang & Blow for a bite. They had some decent shrimp and grits and I had a craving. So the waitress comes to take our order and she says that they're serving everything on the menu EXCEPT Shrimp & Grits. Made me grit my teeth so I asked why not?
What she said made me laugh out loud! She explained that during Bike Week they stay busy, which I can attest to. Therefore it was decided that the wait staff didn't have those extra five minutes per order to explain to a bunch of Yankees what a "grit" is. It is normally ground white corn and one doesn't eat it with sugar here in the south. For this recipe I recommend a quality "Georgia Ice Cream" brand which is stone ground. Uncle Ben's can wait. The address and contact info will be at the bottom.
What y'all need first is:
2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk. Some call for 4 cups of milk and no water but half and half makes a better batch. Bring that to a boil. Careful now this has milk in it and will boil over easily. Once to a boil add:
i cup of stone ground grits (also called polenta). Stone ground is the ticket to this recipe. Whisk it in so it won't clump, add a bit of salt and pepper then lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot. They will take approximately 20 minutes to cook. These aren't instant grits folks. Once the grits are thick remove them from the heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese, qauntities as follows:
3 Tablespoons of Unsalted/Salted Butter
1 Cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. The sharper the better.
While the grits were cooking, you've been busy doing other things. You'll need one pound of shrimp, the fresher the better, peeled and deveined with the tails removed.
Fry six (6) slices of bacon to a crisp and reserve the grease. Add the shrimp to the bacon grease. You can substitute olive oil but live for once in your life and achieve the full flavor of the dish. Cook until the shrimp are pink. Then add:
4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of thin sliced scallions (The long green onions)
1 large minced garlic clove. I use already minced in the amount of a tablespoon.
And 2 Tablespoons of chopped Parsley.
Cook that on a medium low heat for more minutes.
The next part is either based on presentation or lets get down and eat. I mix the shrimp mixture right in with the grit mixture. I'm after taste not looks. Or you can put your grits into a serving bowl and top it with the shrimp mixture as seen above. Time to eat!
The grits I recommend come in a burlap sack They come from Nora Mills and they've been using the same stones to grind their grits for over 100 years. The last time I bought I got a 5 pound bag which will last you a while. The product is not enriched. Follow the storage recommendations on the bag if you use this Georgia Ice Cream brand. Contact info:
Nora Mills Granary, Inc., 7107 South Main Street, Helen, Georgia 30545
noramill,com on the web.
Enjoy one of the south's finest traditions. Did you hear what Sarah Palin did?
Stay Tuned For Tomorrow's Hub!!!
The Frog Prince