Low Country Shrimp and Cheddar Grits


by Charlotte Today Staff


Posted on February 18, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 23 at 3:04 PM


Low country Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
For the shrimp:
2 TBSP Cajun or Creole Seasoning (Tony Chachere’s or Tone’s are good)-adjust to taste
1 TBSP smoked or sweet paprika
1 TBSP dried Italian Seasoning
½ to 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-½ pounds medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 TBSP unsalted butter or use olive oil sparingly to cut fat
1-2 TBSP minced garlic
In a small bowl, combine Cajun and Italian seasoning, paprika and black pepper-toss shrimp in seasoning and set aside for a few minutes to incorporate flavors.
For the grits:
2 cups chicken stock
1-2 TBSP butter
1 cup yellow stone ground grits
2 TBSP tomato paste
¾ cup heavy whipping cream (or nonfat evaporated milk)
4-6 oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese (or Cabot 75% reduced fat)
Fill saucepan with broth and butter, bring to a rolling boil, gradually whisk in grits. Then reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking according to package directions, whisking frequently. Add cream and cheese and stir for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside.
Cook shrimp:
Melt butter and olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, stirring for 30 seconds, then raise temperature to medium high and cook shrimp on both sides until pink (2-3 minutes-careful not to overcook). Transfer shrimp to a medium bowl.
For the Roux:
3 TBSP flour
1-cup chicken stock ½ cup heavy cream or non-fat evaporated milk
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
½ -1 tsp hot sauce (Texas Pete or like)
 1 slice center cut, country ham-trimmed)
Using pan that shrimp was cooked in, remove bits of garlic (so they don’t burn) and cook country ham slice over med/med hi heat until browned on each side (2-4 minutes), then remove to cutting board. Add flour to pan and a bit of butter and “cook flour” until medium brown in color. Add Worcestershire and hot sauce and continue cooking for a few minutes. Lower heat and add heavy cream or milk a bit at a time to avoid lumps and whisk until smooth. Cut country ham slice into small bits and add back to roux. Continue cooking on low for about 10 minutes and taste. This step can be done a day ahead or earlier in the day.
In a large bowl, spread grits into bottom, top with spiced shrimp and ladle roux on top. Sprinkle with sliced scallions (AND fresh sliced green, red or yellow papers, to add color and nutrients)