Shrimp and Grits.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mrmexico25, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    I ran a special at my restaurant this last weekend of shrimp and grits.  It was a tough sell mainly because everyone has such a bad vision of grits.  They think of Waffle House, plain white grits. 

    I made them out of corn meal cooked, mixed with cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, a little Old Bay seasoning, butter and half and half.  They came out great.  I then sauteed green and red bell pepper, celery, scallions and De-veined shrimp in butter and topped it all off with crispy bacon. 

    After I made a few orders and gave out a few samples, people quickly realized they're not Waffle House grits, but instead a cheesy, cream polenta cooked with fresh ingredients.  The sold out like hot cakes!  Sold out in ONE NIGHT!  It was supposed to be a weekend special.  Needless to say I will be doing them again this weekend and stocking up a lot more. 

    Heres a pic: 

    [​IMG]
     
    kaneohegirlinaz, gigito2 and kuan like this.
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, unless you can clarify, corn meal is not grits. Grits are ground from hominy. I think corn mean and grits are quite different though not really a fan of either in the soft fresh mushy form that so many love.
     
  3. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    Yea I did alot of reading up on here about the differences between cornmeal, grits, polenta, etc... And I just decided to go with polenta.  Worked out great.
     
  4. chef1962

    chef1962

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    Glad to see people adopting regional flair.I use to braise pork belly(thick cut bacon) in red wine and demi and laid a shrimp next to it on grits.Cheers or check out red dog or big dog in the Carolina's they have it on their menu
     
  5. chef1962

    chef1962

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    Do not be so pretentious.We all know what they mean
     
  6. pohaku

    pohaku

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    This is probably a case where the "name" of the dish means more than it should.  Outside of certain limited regions of the US, I suspect that promoting the dish as "shrimp and polenta" would attract more customers than "shrimp and grits".

    Looks good.  I'll have to try it myself.
     
    mrmexico25 likes this.
  7. willbkool

    willbkool

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    Hominy and corn meal are basically identical, except that hominy is treated with lye or lime(not the fruit.) Besides that, they both can be finely or coarsely ground, which most grits are coarser than most corn meal. The taste is very similiar, and I have used both for either grits or polenta. Plain grits are pretty horrible, as is plain polenta, butter and cheese make both delicious. 

    MrMexico's shrimp and grits looks good. MrMexico, do you get local shrimp?
     
  8. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    Being from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, I'm not sure if there's really, true LOCAL shrimp - but in any case no.  In this case I used frozen tiger shrimp (shell and tail on, no heads), 21/25 I believe it was. 
     
  9. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Oh My Gravy All Over!! 

    I mean, come on, that dish MrMexico25 is just killin’ me!!

    I love cheese grits and then throw in some shrimp and BACON!!!  Yah Man!!

    When our German shepherd got very sick and could eat kibble, the vet suggested that I make foods for him, such as polenta and the like. 

    He knew that when I got out my BIG pot I was making something yummy for him.  Grits with loads of butter he could handle, funny huh?
     
  10. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    Kane you weren't the only one!  Like I said, after I gave out a few samples, I couldn't stop selling them!  It was an instant hit, and probably a new permanent menu item!
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Yummy! 
     
  12. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Call it what you like but I really like shrimp and grits.  I uses grits and polenta interchangeably. They are really the same thing.  Polenta being more often yellow corn and grits white.  I just picked up a bag of stone ground yellow corn grits.  When cooked properly grits will have a creamy texture and does do well with flavor enhancers and texture enhances like butter, cream and or cheese.  S and P of course.

    Mrmexico25, your dish looks really nice
     
  13. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I wanted ask, I’ve tried to make my polenta

    (just for arguments sake, using just plain ole' yellow corn meal)

     to stay on the looser side and not seize up to a polenta cake before it hits the table?

    My Mom & I really like it that way.  She would love this dish!  And I was thinking of trying it for her in the next couple of weeks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the firmer version fried in a big ole’ pat a butter, makein’ it all crispy around the edges

    (Oh My Gosh I’m Making Myself Drool!)

    HA!  You'd never know that I'm "just a little Hawaiian girl, a homesick Island gal"? 
     
  14. pohaku

    pohaku

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    Slow cooker./img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  15. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    HUH?  Really, in the slow cooker?  Could you expand on that?
     
  16. pohaku

    pohaku

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    You can make polenta in a slow cooker.  You can also hold it in a slow cooker on warm till you are ready to serve.

    Here's a recipe from Anson Mills that works pretty well:

    http://www.ansonmills.com/recipes-corn-10.htm

    I think you get better texture cooking on high for a shorter period of time than cooking on low for longer (6 hours).  I generally make twice as much (2 cups) and cook it for about 2 hours.  I imagine times will vary somewhat depending on your slow cooker and how much you are making.

    Of course, adding more water to the recipe will give you a "looser" polenta if that is what you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  17. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    I always try to make extra grits/polenta.  It's great once cold to slice it and fry it up
     
  18. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    As WillBKool stated, grits and polenta ARE DIFFERENT.  Polenta is made from coarsely ground dried corn. Grits is made from even more coarsely ground hominy-dried corn treated with food grade lime, an alkali. The taste is similar to the finely ground masa corn used for making tortillas. Properly made grits should be little soft grains with a bit of bite surrounded by creamy cooked meal, not uniformly soft mush like you get with soft polenta.

    The reason corn is treated with lime is to counteract the vitamin B3 (niacin) leaching that occurs in diets based on corn as the staple carbohydrate. Without this treatment, people who eat diets based heavily on corn often develop a disease called pellegra. Indigenous Americans somehow knew that treating their dried corn with lime (the mineral, not the fruit) would reduce the occurance of this debilitating disease.

    My late friend, Bill Neal, popularized Shrimp and Grits at his restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC called Crook's Corner and his famous cookbook "Southern Cooking" which was then honored by the James Beard Foundation in the early '80s. Since then, we've seen many people offer their own version of the dish with various additions, but to me, Bill's is the best. Simply sauteed shrimp, garlic, scallions, mushrooms, bacon, lemon juice and parsley over creamy cheese grits (sharp cheddar and parmesan.)

    One thing I cannot abide though, is people saying grits and polenta are the same. Each are good in their own, similar way, but "grits is grits",  "polenta is italian."
     
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  19. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Grits with Sausage gravy ALL over!

    YUM!!  (a couple of peices of Bacon on the side makes everything better)
     
  20. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    Meh, I'm not into disputing the difference of grits and polenta (now that I know what the differences actually are, I thank you), and that was not my intention of this post.  I'm merely sharing my dish!  I do appreciate the knowledge though, I still will refer to it on my menu board as Shrimp and Grits (people don't care if its polenta, or grits, and "Shrimp and Polenta" just doesn't have that same ring to it.)  To me, the differences are small enough so if I do get questioned, I can explain, "its actually a cheesy polenta, similar to grits" so they don't get offended...