This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.
BARRY SAYS: For awhile there, it seemed like everyone was cooking shrimp and grits. It was, and maybe still is, the entree du jour at many restaurants, so we aren't exactly breaking any new ground. It's popularity also makes coming up with something worth making at home a little more challenging, and I think Kelley has done it. She made a similar dish for a house full of family members while we were all in Florida back in September, and most agreed it was the best meal we had during the trip.
So when talk turned to what to serve for a Christmas brunch for family, it was unanimous that shrimp and grits would be the star. And, they were.
KELLEY SAYS: This makes a good brunch or dinner for family gatherings. It's a nice dish for the holidays or a special occasion, especially since it comes together fairly quickly and easily. Make sure you get the larger shrimp if you can. Pair with a nice salad and a good wine and you have a very tasty meal.
Everybody loved it and the only recommendation anybody had was to remove the shrimp tails before serving, but I think it makes a better presentation. Pick it up by the tail, put it in your mouth and pop it out. What's the problem?
BARRY: I agree. This was a really good meal and perfect for the occasion. We didn't have any out-of-towners in our party, but I've always felt like this was a good introduction to grits for people who say they don't like them.
1 1/2 cups of quick-cooking grits
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 sharp, shredded cheddar
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons butter, more if needed
1/2 pint or more heavy whipping cream, as needed for creamy consistency
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place broth in heavy sauce pan. Once boiling, add grits and turn to low and stir until desired consistency. They will be thick. Begin adding remaining ingredients and add half of the scallions.
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup assorted peppers, green, red, yellow, diced
1 one jalapeno, diced
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 shallots, finely minced
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
16 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup strong chicken broth
2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped thyme
2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley
6 green onions, thinly sliced and divided; half will be used for the grits and half for the shrimp.
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sauté shrimp in the butter until almost cooked. Remove and set aside. In the same butter, sauté peppers, onions, shallots, garlic and mushrooms until wilted. Add the white wine, chicken broth and the herbs and cook for two to three minutes. Add tomatoes and cook one minute, then return shrimp to the pan and cook for another minute or so.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Add desired amount of grits in each bowl and top with shrimp and juices from pan.
Makes 6 servings.
Contact Barry Courter at 423-757-6354 or bcourter @timesfreepress.com.