This week’s chef recipe comes to us from the River Room in Georgetown, South Carolina, just south of Myrtle Beach.
Nothing shows Southern hospitality better than a warm, spicy bowl of shrimp and grits. The key to perfectly creamy grits is early, frequent stirring, and the addition of cream or milk at the end. To make the roux, melt butter in a pan on medium low heat, then slowly stir in your flour, whisking evenly and quickly to blend away any lumps. A good roux will turn a light, golden brown when it is ready, and makes the perfect thickening agent for savory dishes like gumbo, as well as gravy for your next roasted chicken or turkey.
River Room’s Shrimp & Grits
- 20 shrimp peeled and deveined
- 20 slices of smoked sausage
- thinly sliced Cajun Tasso ham to taste (it’s spicy)
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- Small amount of butter
- Southern style grits (recipe below)
- Ham Roux (sauce recipe below)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk (or heavy cream)
- 1 cup grits
- salt & pepper to taste
To prepare grits: Bring water, salt and grits to a boil. Stir frequently. Lower the heat and reduce grits to a simmer. Add the milk. Cover the pot and simmer for 50-60 minutes stirring frequently. Add more salt and butter to taste.
- 2 cups of ham stock (ham base plus water)
- Roux (butter plus flour)
To prepare sauce: Bring the ham stock to a slight boil, then thicken the stock by adding a small amount of roux. You don’t need a lot of roux, just enough to thicken the stock a little bit. (Roux is equal parts butter and flour and is used to thicken many sauces.)
Directions: (Or, as the chef says, “Here we go!”)
Place a small amount of butter in a pan, put the shrimp, sausage and tasso ham in first and sautee until the shrimp are done . (Don’t use too much butter or the sauce will be greasy.)
Scoop the grits onto four serving plates. ( You can do this while cooking the shrimp and sausage.)
When the shrimp are done, add the ham sauce to the pan with the shrimp and stir the mixture around to get all the crusty stuff off the bottom of the pan. (This is what is referred to as deglazing the pan.)
Spoon the shrimp and sausage over the grits, garnish with chopped scallions and parsley. Serve.
Find more on the menu at the River Room here at their website.