For Mama Tanya’s Kitchen’s Valentine Special Episode: Baby You Make MY Love Come Down.
I made a simple but decadent shrimp and grits. As I’ve told you guys before, my parents are from down south and much of my culinary influences are rooted in my early memories of cornbread, collard greens and yes, grits. Grits, a southern staple, are a coarse meal made from corn. And last year the internet was all aflutter with whether it was best to have sweet grits with sugar or savory grits with salt. No self-respecting person I associate with would ever put sugar in grits, that’s for oatmeal!
This recipe is made with heavy cream for maximum savory, pops of smoked gouda and topped with an easy-to-make sautéed shrimp, flavored with fresh dill. It’s fancy and whips up in no time! You’ll have Bae’s heart forever (or at least for the rest of the day) with one taste. Even for folks not well-versed in the kitchen, this one is going to make you look like a culinary superstar!
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 cup grits
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
Fresh pepper to taste
¼ cup smoked gouda cheese shredded
1 tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon CLASSIC olive oil
8-10 large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and cleaned
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped dill
½ teaspoon smoked sweet Hungarian paprika (optional)
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water and salt to boil. Add grits and turn the burner down to medium. Stir with a metal whisk frequently to keep grits from sticking and clumping. When water is reduced by half, turn burner down to low and allow to simmer. Add cream and whisk. Add any additional water if grits seem to be too thick. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil; when butter starts to sizzle a bit, add shrimp, and keep moving. As shrimp turns a light pink color, add garlic and turn heat down to low. Cook until pink and opaque about 6-7 minutes total. Add dill at the end and cook one minute more. Remove pan from heat.
Your grits should be just about done, add cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Add fresh pepper to taste and any additional salt if desired. Ladle grits into your favorite bowl and place 4 shrimp neatly on top (I like to make them look like a pinwheel), sprinkle a little paprika on top, garnish with fresh dill and just a touch of shredded gouda. Set bowl atop a plate and serve with Sweet Skillet Cornbread and a simple green salad.
Thank me later.