the only problem with shrimp and grits is that they disappear too quickly. in general, i am a fast eater– a fact that i hate but openly admit. if i admit it then it’s not a problem. i try to combat this by chugging glasses of water right before i eat so that i am physically too full to eat fast. most of the time though, i forget to do this and am done before the blessing has started. it is especially bad with casseroles, pasta, grits, soups, etc. basically anything other than massive hunks of meat. i mean, there’s minimal, if any, chewing. what’s the hold up?
As was the case the other night when I made gouda grits with smoky brown butter shrimp from How Sweet It Is. Per usual, Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi took over my body. For those of you that don’t dream about winning Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and staying as skinny as he is on a daily basis, he is a professional speed eater. No dreams are dumb dreams.
As a lover of all shrimp and grits, this one was spot on.The crisp corn gave the perfect little crunch and the shrimp provided me the opportunity to not only chew, but to have my mind blown at the flavors. It was the (massive) amounts of gouda mixed into the grits that rendered all efforts to eat slowly useless. I paused once– to think if it was possible to make a quantity large enough to swim in–but other than that, it was go time.
Try it yourself if you don’t believe me.
Gouda Grits with Smoky Brown Butter Shrimp
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup quick-cooking grits
8 ounces gouda cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 ears grilled sweet corn, cut from the cob
2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
1 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the grits and whisk constantly until they are fully mixed into the stock, about a minute or two. Reduce the heat to low and cover, stirring once or twice more, until the grits are thicker and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Taste and season more if desired – this will depend on the salt in your stock and cheese.
Pat the shrimp completely dry with paper towels. Once it’s dry, season it with the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted and begins to sizzle, add the shrimp in batches (don’t overcrowd it!) and cook on both sides until pink. The butter will brown as the shrimp cooks and you can whisk it occasionally to prevent it from burning. When the shrimp is finished, stir in the garlic (I stir a little in each batche of the shrimp) and cook for a second then place the shrimp on a plate. Repeat.
To serve the grits, spoon them into a bowl and add the shrimp on top. I like to drizzle any of the butter in the pan on top too. Cover with spoonfuls of grilled corn (you can toss it in butter, salt and pepper!) and a sprinkling of chives. Eat immediately.