So, I hope we have all learned a very valuable lesson this past week: Groundhog Day is bullshit.
I’m really pissed about the weather New York has been having, you guys. Like, literally angry.
How is it going to snow–SNOW!!!!–in April?
How, Sway, how?
That’s it. Move me to the South. New Orleans, specifically.
Joy The Baker is there and Mint Juleps are there and warm weather is there and shrimp and grits are there.
Creole Shrimp & Grits
*Notes: I always buy shrimp raw, shell-on. After peeling, I reserve the shells in a ziploc bag and keep in the freezer, adding to the bag every time I purchase shrimp. Once I have a gallon-size bag-full, I add to a stock pot and cover with water by 4 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low-heat. Simmer for 45 minutes and strain. That, my friends, is homemade seafood stock.
Creole Sauce: (1-2 tbsp of Creole Sauce base for every Cup of heavy cream)
- 2 lbs shrimp (wild caught, raw & shell-on)
- 2 lobster bodies, optional (meat removed)
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 lemons
- Heavy cream, as needed
Hominy Grits: I’m cheating. Don’t tell New Orleans.
- 1 – 15 oz can hominy
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Remove shrimp meat from shells and set aside in refrigerator.
- Remove the peel from the lemon with a paring knife or vegetable peeler, being careful to remove as little pith as possible. If you do remove some of the pith with the peel, simply scrape it off with a paring knife. Once the peel is removed, free of pith, and reserved, remove the pith from the lemon itself. When the pith is removed, cut out segments from the lemon.
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp shells, lobster bodies (if using–they’ll add more flavor but can be hard to find), seafood stock, white wine, Worcestershire, lemon peel, lemon segments and bay leaves.
- Stir the mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half. About 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh colander, reserving the liquid.
- Add the reserved liquid to a clean saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced into a thick, syrup-like consistency–you will have about 1/4 cup. The color of the Creole sauce base will be very dark brown.
- Set the Creole sauce base aside until assembly.
- Empty the can of hominy into a colander and rinse with water thoroughly.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp butter, onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent.
- Add the hominy and stir, cooking about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the hominy has soaked up about half of the stock–about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the hominy to a food processor and reserve the chicken stock. Pulse the hominy until smooth, adding the reserved chicken stock, as needed.
- Add the hominy grits back to the sauce pan and add any remaining chicken stock. Cook over medium-high heat until all the chicken stock has been absorbed into the grits.
- Add the heavy cream and remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Continue to cook and stir until the grits are thick and creamy.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove shrimp from fridge and season with salt & pepper.
- Add olive oil to a sauté pan and turn the heat to medium high. Once hot, add the shrimp and cook, making sure to get a nice sear on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of Creole Sauce base to the pan and 2 cups heavy cream. You can make more or less sauce for your dish–I use about 1-2 tablespoons of sauce base per 1 cup of heavy cream. You be the judge.
- Cook over high heat until bubbly, reduced by about half and tastes really really good.
- Add the shrimp and stir to coat.
- Serve over grits.
- Extra points for adding poached eggs.