Shrimp and Grits. Just the sound of it makes your mouth water doesn't it? You see, I was born and raised in Louisiana. So chances are I came out of the womb knowing how to cook, but I just didn't know it until a few years ago. That's when I started trying to recreate some of those scrumptious Cajun dishes in my own kitchen.
But here's the twist: I'm not big fan of hot and spicy. Yep, I'm the softer side of Cajun cooking. So let me show you how I make some good old fashioned Cajun comfort food.
Tammi's Shrimp and Grits
1 1/2 pounds large or Jumbo Gulf Shrimp
2 TBS of olive oil
1 TBS of butter
Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Cachere's)
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup quick grits (recommended: Quaker)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup Gruyere
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can stewed tomatoes w/ basil onion garlic
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
(hot sauce if you like. I don't)
First, peel and de-vein the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp to coat well and set the shrimp aside. Next, make your grits. In a medium saucepan, bring water, and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don't skimp on the butter and the cream, folks. Now sauté the shrimp. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they're just done and tender. Don't overcook. Remove the shrimp from the sauté pan and set them aside in a bowl. You can taste 1 or 2, to see if they're okay. The roux is next. With all those wonderful drippings from the shrimp in the sauté pan, add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir with a wooden spatula to make a roux. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until roux reaches a medium-tan color, then slowly add the chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.