Shrimp and grits

Shrimp and grits

By
From
Deep South
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

My first professional job in the kitchen came as a result of a college essay assignment. I interviewed John Currence, chef-proprietor of City Grocery in Oxford, Massachusetts, and over the next two years, John helped me discover a depth of Southern cooking that was beyond the simple meals I enjoyed at home. His interest in the flavours of his heritage (John’s from New Orleans) accelerated my passion to get behind the stove and learn more about the craft.

While working as part of John’s restaurant family, I was introduced to this dish. Although I never actual ly cooked it at City Grocery, I watched hundreds of them go out of the kitchen. It’s something I can cook purely from sight memory, and it’s the best version I’ve ever tasted. If it ain’t broke…

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g streaky bacon, cut into thin lardons
200g button mushrooms, cut into quarters
20 large raw prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a bunch spring onions, finely chopped
120ml white wine
4 teaspoons lemon juice
sea salt

For the grits:

Quantity Ingredient
150g coarse stoneground corn grits
300ml milk
300ml water
100g unsalted butter
200g mature cheddar, grated
10 dashes tabasco sauce

Method

  1. To cook the grits, add them to a medium-sized pot with the milk, water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer slowly for 20–30 minutes, until they have the consistency of porridge. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese, Tabasco and salt to taste. Keep warm.
  2. Put the bacon lardons in a large frying pan and cook slowly to render the fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Raise the heat to high, add the mushrooms to the bacon fat with a pinch of salt and sauté quickly until they have taken on a little colour. Next, season the prawns with salt and add to the pan. Now, quickly, in order to avoid overcooking the prawns, return the bacon to the pan with the garlic and spring onions. Toss gently to bring the flavours together. Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the base of the pan. Add the lemon juice. Serve immediately on top of the grits, either in shallow bowls or on rimmed plates.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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