This is the recipe that almost wasn’t. For those of you who didn’t know, I spent the weekend celebrating my sister Lynne’s wedding. It was a wonderful time. Here she is with her husband and my new brother-in-law, John. We couldn’t be happier for them!
But, I was a little busy and didn’t really have any time to cook! So, we needed a simple enough recipe for a weeknight. I really wanted to do a gumbo, but alas, that requires more time.
So we went with shrimp & grits, although my local Whole Foods apparently wanted no part of that, so we have substitutions galore here. The good news – it was still tasty.
Week: 5 of 52
Cookbook: My New Orleans, John Besh
This recipe started by cooking white grits (substitution #1 – had to use regular yellow). This is a simple process where you simmer the grits for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, and then finish with butter and mascarpone to get a creamy texture and taste. When finished, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming.
To cook the shrimp, I seasoned shell-on jumbo gulf shrimp with Cajun seasoning and salt. Saute in olive oil for a couple minutes until partially cooked and remove from the pan. In the same pan, sauté a mixture of garlic, shallot, andouille, and piquillo peppers for a few minutes. (Substitutions #2 & #3: if, like me, you can’t find andouille, you can use chorizo. I found a Niman Ranch uncured Cajun salame and used that instead. For the piquillo peppers, a jarred, roasted, Spanish pepper, you can substitute standard roasted red peppers.)
Add shrimp stock and reduce the sauce a bit. (Substitution #4: ok, really, two days after playing maid of honor and I’m supposed to be able to procure homemade shrimp stock? Sure. I used chicken stock.) Add the shrimp back to the pan, with some lemon juice and diced, canned tomatoes. Let the shrimp finish cooking and check the seasoning of the sauce.
Serve the shrimp and sauce over a nice mound of grits. This is good and messy, but mostly, it’s good.
- Louisiana or Wild-Caught U.S. Shrimp, unpeeled
- Cajun Seasoning
- White (or yellow) Stoneground Grits
- Mascarpone Cheese
- Plastic Wrap to Cover Grits
- Andouille Sausage (or Chorizo, or…)
- Piquillo Peppers (or roasted red)
- Shrimp Stock (or Chicken, or…)
- Lemon Juice
- Diced, Canned Tomatoes
- All-Clad Cookware