By Abigail Thielke
Yes, I love to cook. No, I’m not very good at it … well, let’s just say I’m working on it. With this first post, I want to begin by exploring the recipes that have made our mouths water and families happy over the past 25 years of publishing CMM. I took a step back into our July/August 2011 issue and found the exact recipe to suit my cravings for a Friday night dinner. I was visiting Edisto Island, S.C. for the weekend so I of course wanted to incorporate something with local foods — shrimp and grits seemed like a fitting choice.
The following recipe by Susan Fuller Slack, CCP was inspired by a classic New Orleans shrimp dish. It can be served as an outdoor party appetizer or as an entree with grits and greens. Wild-caught American shrimp from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico or the South Atlantic are good seafood choices (I used fresh local shrimp caught off the coast of Edisto Island, S.C.). Abita Amber Beer is a favorite in Louisiana for cooking and drinking; if unavailable, substitute a mild brown ale (or whatever is in your fridge … Michelob Ultra was all I could find).
So here’s the shopping list:
1 1/2 pounds fresh large shrimp, shelled
4 ounces salted butter
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
Juice of 1 fresh lemon (or lemon juice)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning, if desired
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup room temperature beer, dry white wine or shrimp stock, as
And now, the steps:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Step 2: With kitchen scissors, cut lengthwise through the shell of each shrimp along the back curve. Make an incision into each shrimp and remove the veins, leaving shells intact. Set aside.
Step 3: Follow directions on grits package to boil just the right amount of water.
Step 4: Gather all of your spices.
Step 5: Don’t forget a nice pairing libation!
Step 6: Once the water is boiling, pour in the grits. In line with our location, Geechie Boy Grits were a must.
Step 7: As the grits are cooking, measure all of your spices out and set aside.
No need to use lots of baking ware.
Step 8: Stir in shrimp and cook, uncovered, about five minutes, stirring often. In a large cast iron skillet or other heavy baking pan, add the remaining ingredients, except beer. Heat in the oven three to four minutes, stirring once, until mixture is sizzling-hot.
Step 9: Mix in beer and continue cooking five minutes or until shrimp are opaque and firm. Don’t overcook or shrimp will be tough.
Variation: For stovetop cooking, heat butter mixture in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir eight to 10 minutes or until done. Sprinkle in beer, as desired.
As soon as the grits are finished, spoon shrimp and Geechie Boy Grits onto individual plates, pour another glass of Prosecco and enjoy. Serves four.