Friday, April 27, 2012

Shrimp and Grits and Greens or When Southern Foods Collide!!

Shrimp and Grits is apparently very popular. Not only is the recipe one which more people have searched out and read on my blog but it is one that attracts more hits from search engines on the web to my Blog! And I have also been told that folks want more grits recipes on here. So I thought why not, lets do it up right!

Now as most of you know when I started the On the Plate supper club with my business partner Stuart we held our first event and it was well attended by about 32 people. That is not bad for a first effort. And while it was not the most successful event it was a success and people really enjoyed the meal. It was a little too much food perhaps and it was way over our heads to produce at the time. But for a first effort it was really great and we learned a lot.
The Menu was a collection of very simple dishes all of which were southern themed. There was pimento cheese appetizer, a BLT,Green goddess salad, short ribs and of course a version of Shrimp and Grits with a dessert at the end.

Now this version of Shrimp and Grits which we served at our first salon was inspired by a recipe that came from a fellow student in undergrad school at James Madison University. It is slap your Mama good! My friend Kim was a slightly older woman who had been married and had divorced her husband and returned to school to make a better life for herself. She had me and some friends over for dinner one night and being that we were all poor students it was so nice to have someone cooking for you. She made this amazing dish which she called Grit's and Greens. It was basically something she had grown up with as a girl in rural southern Virginia. A collage of grits peppered with collard greens which would cook directly in the grits and some meat, usually a breakfast sausage roll crumbled up cooked and thrown in to add protein. It was a big plate of yummy mess.

Well later on I took the idea and said why not do this with shrimp and grits. It seemed a no brainer. So for our first dinner with On the Plate I decided to serve this as a second course. It was an easier version of the dish than trying to make a sauce and the grits separately and it seemed a perfect way to serve this dish but streamline it for service. I had recently visited The Redhead in NYC. and had the Shrimp and Grits which was very good, so I felt inspired to come up with something different.

It came out so well. I think it may be because I put so much butter and cream in it but ah..who cares. This is a really wonderful dish the kinda thing you want to serve only a small portion of because it is rich but very satisfiying! It makes a great first course to a meal or a main in colder weather! Enjoy ya'll!!

Shrimp and Grits and Greens

2 cups chicken stock
1 cups milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of grits
1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 pound of cooked shrimp peeled no tails
2 1/2 cups finely chopped collard greens stems removed just the leaves
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon chopped parsley

Bring the stock and milk and cream to a boil and slowly add the grits in a steady stream whisking constantly.
Simmer and cook till creamy add more milk if too thick.
Add the cheese and the butter then stir in the greens.
Allow greens to cook in the grits on low heat for about 10 mins.
the taste and season if necessary.
Add the shrimp right before you serve and allow to heat through about 1 min. then divide between 4 to 6 portions depending on the desired serving size.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve, YUM!!!

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