Spiced Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits
Great Southern Café, 45 Central, and the Meltdown on 30A, Seaside, FL
Jim Shirley served this flavor-packed Southern classic at a Beard House dinner that celebrated the food of Pensacola, Florida. He recommends using Dixie Lily brand grits if you can find them.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups grits
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2 heaping cups shredded smoked Gouda
- 8 strips applewood-smoked bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 portobello mushroom cap, sliced
- 1/4 cup diced scallions
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste
To make the grits, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan. Slowly stream in the grits while whisking vigorously. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Add some of the cream if the grits become too thick. When the grits are cooked, mix in the remaining cream and butter. Add the Gouda cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
To make the shrimp, sauté the bacon in a large sauce pot over medium heat until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the butter and wine; when the butter is half melted, add the shrimp. After about 2 minutes, or when the bottom halves of the shrimp are just pink and opaque, flip them over and add the spinach, mushrooms, and scallions. Sauté for 2 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
Add the heavy cream to the pot and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until it has reduced by a third, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Return the shrimp to the pot and stir.
To serve, spoon the sauce and shrimp onto heaping mounds of cheese grits.