SHRIMP & GRITS

I am always tickled when I hear a chef state that cheese and seafood don’t go together. Really?

Shrimp and Grits has been a delight of the south for many generations. How boring would grits be without lots of rich, creamy cheese?

My rendition of grits for this dish, will instead be an Italian Polenta. Creamy undertones of rich sheep’s milk cheese, served firm, rather than soupy (as grits are sometimes served), and our shrimp will be skewed, and grilled to perfection. Yum!

Grits Ingredients:

-        Corn Grits/Polenta – 1 cup

-        Water – 3 cups

-        Salt – 1 ½ teaspoons

-        Butter – 2 tablespoons

-        Grated Cheese – ½ - ¾ cup, Pecorino Romano, or any favored cheese

Place the grits into a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil, lower, and cook low and slow for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Add butter and cheese, stir continuously for another 10 minutes. Cover. Your polenta, textured grits are ready. Serve hot or cold.

Shrimp Ingredients:

-        Shrimp – 1 pound or so, shelled and deveined

-        Olive oil – 1 tablespoon

-        Old Bay seasoning – 1 tablespoon

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the oil and seasoning. Place shrimp on a skewer stick. Fridge until ready to pop onto the grill. On a hot grill, cook one minute, or two on both sides, until the color changes to a bright pink/orange. Remove and serve either hot, or cold.

A lovely alternative to this dish, if served in tapas style for a larger crowd, is to firm the polenta in a pan, cut it into squares, and place a polenta square and a shrimp on a toothpick, served cold. All the work done ahead of time, and the platter of shrimp and polenta quickly become a favored dish for a party of guests.