As a Boy from Detroit, my exposure to grits came late in life and in a very non-traditional way. Not for breakfast with butter and salt & pepper like many of my good Southern friends are used to, but spicy, bold grits for dinner! Rachel’s family considered it preposterous! “What self-respecting Southerner would eat grits that way?”.  I finally convinced my beautiful bride to try them and she raved to her parents so much that I decided to surprise them one evening with a big steaming bowl of shrimp & grits! Of course they became reluctant converts – – but now I know the truth! After hearing about a pot of grits I made for a potluck at the local Moravian church my Father-in-law Ray said “Why dont you make some of your grits for Thanksgiving” Wooot! Thanksgiving! That’s a Grand Slam in our culinary life – thats like getting called to the big league!  Below is the recipe I am taking to dinner this afternoon.  Moravian’s checking this site for last Sunday’s recipe will see a slite modification in the addition of mushrooms – but everything else is pretty much the same.

Chow!

CHOWBELLY’S HIGHLAND GRITS

Ingredients
1 lb Chorizo Sausage
1 Thick Slice Ham, julienned
1 lb 61-70 ct Tail-off Shrimp
1/2 lb Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1/2 C. Diced Sweet Onion
1 tbls Minced Garlic
1 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 lb Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
2 C. Old Fashioned Grits
3 C. Water
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Zatarain’s Crab Boil
1 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Heavy Cream

Preparation:
Begin by preparing the chorizon – if it’s cased slice it in half and push the meat out of the casing like you would toothpaste. In a medium sized saute pan, brown and thoroughly drain the chorizo and set it off to the side. I prefer to line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towel and spread the drained meat over the paper towel to remove even more of the orange grease. Wipe out the pan and add 1/4 stick of the butter. Once melted add the diced onions and mushrooms and saute until translucent. As they are approaching the translucent stage add the minced garlic and saute briefly. Remove to a small bowl and set onion and garlic off to the side.  In the same pan add a bit more butter and add the julienned strips of ham. Let them fry up good with nice carmelization visible.  In a stainless steel pan you will see the remnants of your past few steps crusty on the bottom of the pan.  This is referred to as the fond and it is one of the best parts of any dish! Return the empty pan to the heat and add the chicken stock.  You dont want the chicken stock to boil, you just want to use it as an agent to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan.  This is called deglazing the pan.  Scrape the bottom and stir things around – you really want to get that flavor off the bottom of the pan and incorporated into the chicken stock. YOu can add the remaining butter to the pan for added richness.  Next add the shrimp and remove from the heat.  The heat of the chicken stock and the pan will partially cook the fragile shrimp and they will continue to cook in the grits.  Now in a large pot bring the water to a boil and add the grits, as they begin to open up and absorb  the water stir in the chicken stock and shrimp into the mixture.  Add the onion and garlic to the grits and mix in thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Zatarain’s crab boil, the cream and the sour cream. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and top with layers of shredded cheese, chorizo and the julienned ham slices.

Advertisements