If you have ever had the pleasure of traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line in The U.S, you would most definitely be familiar and I hope as obsessed with this dish as I am. Shrimp and grits. Or shrimp n’ grits (insert southern drawl here). Recently I was fortunate enough to spend some time in South Carolina with a short hop over the state line into Georgia where I was welcomed with southern hospitality, slow talkin’ and hot cookin’. While I was technically there for work, I spent every free moment eating fresh seafood, shopping at piggly wiggly, and eating my body weight in grits. Cheese grits, hominy grits, breakfast grits.. you name it. But nothing came close to the first meal I had off the plane, and one that I still dream about today, shrimp and grits.
Now, I’m rarely one to follow a recipe to the point of putting my laptop in the danger zone beside a pan full of frying bacon, but the subject matter of the recipe, and star of the show, was something I was not only unfamiliar with eating, but more importantly, cooking. I wanted my first attempt at grits to be textbook. I came across this recipe from The Steamy Kitchen and since it had all my favorite food groups accounted for (shrimp, bacon, leeks, and wine) I knew it was the one. I will mention that I found the grits to be lacking a bit of the “creaminess” I remembered from my memorable meal, so I added a table spoon of butter and about half a cup of cheese to the mix. Perfectamundo.
You can find grits in most grocery store but I will advise, no, insist, you do not buy the instant variety… unless you want your little bacon fried crustacean swimming in something that might resemble day old porridge. No. Thanks.