Recipe :: Shrimp & Grits

I’ve had a few folks ask about it, so here’s the recipe for my shrimp & grits. As noted in the previous post about this dish, it was “borrowed” from the wonderful restaurant in Charleston, Magnolia’s, but has been altered. For one, this recipe serves 4. (Their’s serves 18 starving teenage boys. Not really.)

Grits
1 cup stone ground grits
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 – 1/2 cup heavy cream

Bring the chicken broth to boil. Add grits slowly while stirring. Reduce heat to low & simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Add cream about 5 minutes before serving. You can add more broth or water if you think they are too thick, but they should be thick.

Shrimp & Gravy
1 lb large shrimp, shelled & deveined
1/2 pkg. kielbasa sausage, cubed (personal taste rules here regarding spice)
2 slices of thick smoked bacon, sliced into small pieces / strips
1/2 stick butter
1 – 2 T. flour
3 cups chicken broth (+/-)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive oil

parsley (chopped fresh or flakes), optional 

Heat about 1 T. olive oil in a large skillet; add sausage & cook until slightly brown. Add shrimp & cook for a couple of minutes until almost all of the pink is gone. Remove from heat & set meat aside in bowl for later.

In the same skillet, on medium low heat, add bacon & butter. Saute until bacon is very brown, but not burnt. Add flour, whisking continuously to make roux. Cook flour until it achieves a nutty aroma, void of any starchy flavor. (At least 5 minutes.)

Raise heat to medium and begin adding chicken broth slowly a bit at a time & stopping to stir, ensuring an even & smooth consistency between pourings. (Let gravy thicken before adding more broth.)

Reduce heat & let gravy simmer & thicken for at least 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add meat to gravy, and cook another 5 minutes until shrimp are done.
Serve gravy over grits & sprinkle with fresh parsley or parsley flakes.
A few notes:
Stone ground grits used to be hard to find, but with the new “gourmet” grocery stores, not so. I picked up this last bag at Whole Foods.
The recipe from Magnolia’s calls for tasso instead of bacon. I’ve made it with both and prefer bacon.
The recipe from Magnolia’s also calls for seasoning the grits with salt & pepper. I don’t think that is necessary because they are going to be served with the gravy that has so much flavor, but cook according to your taste.
For the sausage, my hubby doesn’t like hot spice, so I always pick very mild flavored sausage, but again, cook to your own taste. If the sausage is too spicy, it will drown out the flavor of the shrimp.
Good luck & let me know how yours turns out!

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