Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shrimp and Grits, Take One

Rats, shoulda gone with my gut.

When I read the recipe for Shrimp and Grits, I somehow knew there should be more to making the rich, darkly flavored dish I enjoyed in North Carolina than this recipe outlined. I mostly followed the recipe, however, instead of experimenting a bit.

I did make a few changes - subbed shrimp stock that I had in the freezer for the water in the recipe and added a bit more of the chopped tomatoes - but I was mostly a good little girl.

Phooey.

I never thought I'd say this as I love buttery, rich foods, but the whole dish is 'way too rich when you put shrimp and sauce made with lots of butter and heavy cream over cheesy grits. Oink! It was all so rich that we could barely taste the shrimp as separate from the creamy sauce - and there was plenty of shrimp in there! If I was to make this again, I'd serve it over rice rather than cheesy grits, and probably a chewy brown rice to add texture to the dish. I had added fresh corn to my cheesy grits of the night before and, although I love it as a side dish, it was wasted under all that creamy stuff.

So, what changes? I did like the hint of heat from the sriracha sauce and the jalapeƱos, so I'd keep that but I'd increase the chopped tomatoes by half again to raise the acid a little and I'd omit the cream altogether, subbing in more of the shrimp stock. I'd probably try adding some paprika, too, to darken both the sauce and the flavor. I might add some lemon juice or zest, too, for additional zing. What I dream of would be lighter and leaner, with a sauce that contrasted more with the sweetness of the shrimp, a sauce that would lighten the cheesy grits rather than weigh them down with even more richness.

Next time, I'm going with my instincts!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Kailyn said...

Another option. Called my aunts in Savannah for their recipe.

Season shrimp and cook in olive oil. (My aunt uses a wok.) When you turn the shrimp, add chopped onion. Sprinkle flour across. Add soy sauce and cold water. Serve over grits.

Sunday, November 08, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, thanks. That seems like a very simple preparation and it gives me an idea of still another kind to try - later!

Monday, November 09, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You sound so "Iron Chef"! Brava. Next time, you will win.

Monday, November 09, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, optimism is my best quality. Even when it's not warranted.

Monday, November 09, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

In other words, you're proud of being modest. Or, you're modest about being proud. It works.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009  

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