Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

I have had Shrimp and Grits (the composed dish) at a few restaurants over the past couple of years.  Before that, quite frankly, I had not heard of it.  In those restaurants, I discovered that there is quite a variation in dishes, building on the two key components, of course: Shrimp and Grits.
I like all the versions I have tasted, although some are more memorable than others.  The other day, when I visited my favorite seafood monger, Indian River Seafood, they had some very nice large white shrimp on sale (their sales revolve around what is plentiful from that day's catch, not what is "left over", unlike some big box stores...I LOVE my local vendors!) These shrimp were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean the day before yesterday.
Anyway, I decided to try my own version of Shrimp and Grits.  Hubby gives it the thumbs-up, so here it is:

To Prep:
Clean the Shrimp (some people leave the shells and heads on; I don't)
Chop all the herbs, garlic and the spinach (keep separate)
Grate the Cheese (plus some extra!)
Gather all the spices
Measure out the liquids and grits
Slice and quarter the Chorizo

For the Grits:
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup white wine (I used Vendange California Chardonnay)
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup white Quick Grits
1/4 cup Parmesan or Asiago Cheese (Asiago is a spanish sheep cheese, a bit bolder flavor)
1 tsp. of Smoked Paprika (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. Dried Red Chili Flakes (more if you like heat--but be careful, they are potent and can overwhelm the dish!)
1/2 tsp. cracked Black Pepper
Kosher Salt (to taste)
Put the Stock, Water, Wine, Cream, Paprika, Chili Flakes and Black Pepper (don't add salt yet) in a large saucepan, heat to a slight boil on medium high (it will take a bit longer, but you should stir it occassionally to reduce the chance of scorching the cream)
While whisking, add the grits, and keep whisking for about a minute, gradually turning the heat down to just simmer.
When the grits thicken slightly and the heat is on low-medium low, add the parmesan cheese, add salt to taste and let simmer while you make the other ingredients.

For the Spinach:
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
10 oz. Chopped Fresh Spinach Leaves
1 clove Garlic
a Dash of Kosher Salt

In a large Saute Pan, heat the Olive Oil on medium high to just below the smoking point.
Add the Spinach, stir
Add the Butter, Garlic and salt
Heat, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and dark green--about 3 minutes
Add all to the Grits (don't drain the juice--add it all) Stir together.

For the Shrimp:
12-18 Large Fresh Shrimp
1 clove Chopped Fresh Garlic, or Garlic Powder (to taste)
Cracked Black Pepper
Kosher Salt
A few red Chili Flakes, according to your taste for heat

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper
In the same Saute Pan, after you add the spinach to the grits, wipe the pan, and add another tablespoon of EVOO and heat on medium high to just below the smoking point again, then add the seasoned shrimp and the butter after the shrimp, and saute until they are just pink (the bits of garlic, butter, pepper, paprika, and salt will give it a nice color) and curled, but not too tightly--be careful of overcooking!

Plate the Grits while the shrimp are cooking (it won't get cold; the shrimp cook FAST!), and top with the Shrimp, and garnish with fresh Dill, Parsley and Grated Parmesan or Asiago. You may serve with toast points, or crusty bread (my personal favorite is anything Sourdough! LOL)

I hope you enjoy. I would love to hear if anyone tries this dish, how you like it, how easy or difficult you found it, and if you altered it....I always love to hear about variations! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Roasted whole chicken

First I would like to apologize. I don't have internet at home right now so it is not as easy for me to post stuff like I want to. I also am sorry but I do not have a picture for this recipe.  It turned out really good so I hope you will try it too.

1 whole roasting chicken
1/2 can/bottle of beer (your choice)
garlic powder
onion powder
poultry seasoning
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. set roasting pan on stove top on medium heat. pour in the beer and add 2 tbsp of butter. let it heat to a slight bubble then add in the rest of the seasonings. (reserve a little of the seasoning to put on top of chicken). While beer is heating up make sure to rinse your chicken extra well and pat dry. Remove the pkg of "innerds". Place your chicken in the pan and sprinkle with the reserved seasoning. Put aluminum foil over top and place in oven for about 30 min. remove foil and crank heat up to 450. After 15 minutes, reduce heat back to 350 and leave the foil off. (if your chicken is getting too brown, put the foil back on). When you reduce the heat take this time to spoon the juices from the pan over the chicken. It should be smelling wonderful in your kitchen right now.
Check your chicken for doneness. It should be completely cooked after about an hour in the oven.

Give it a try! Use the spices I listed above or use some of your favorites.
~As always,
Happy eating and good cooking!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sliders for the Superbowl

 I made two different types of sliders for our private  Superbowl party.  The first one was 100% Ground Round Beef, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of granulated sugar to ensure a good carmelization.  I cooked them to a medium, which left them juicy, but they held together well.  I topped them with an organic tomato slice, caramelized onions, sauteed crimini mushrooms, Irish Cheddar cheese, and organic arugula.  The condiment was a choice of  homemade horseradish sauce or homemade ketchup from organic tomatoes.  The "bun" was actually a sliced sourdough baguette, which made for a nice presentation.

The second type of slider was from a mixture of the same ground beef as above, and ground pork; about a 25% beef, 75% pork ratio.  I cooked this to just shy of well done, topped with Manchego Cheese, sauteed crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, organic tomato, balsamic vinegar braised shredded cabbage (which turned out awesome!), and arugula.  This bun was the Publix bakery french hamburger buns, cut into fourths.
I served both types of sliders with a kosher dill pickle.  Of course, there are other snacks as well, but these were the hit of the party (so far, since the Superbowl is still on!)
This is the first time I have made sliders, and it was a lot of fun--I think I will do this more often!!