Welcome back to June’s installment of the Guest Test Kitchen! In case you forgot, or didn’t know, the Duo hails from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (so much pride, we had to say the whole name!). Last time we were in NC, we went to breakfast right after leaving the airport. We were thrilled to see all the Southern staples on the menu, especially grits which is actually one of our favorites. For the whole meal, we lamented over grits missing in our lives out West. Polenta abounds, but its Southern cousin is either ignored or poorly executed. So just for us, Claudia Hill (another UNC alum and mother to a good friend) cooked a recipe in her kitchen from Charlotte, NC featuring the prized corn mush–grits. Take it away Claudia!
This dish comes from Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, NC, a famous local eatery known for their Southern cuisine and funky atmosphere. Their “Shrimp and Grits” is a menu favorite and a must-have for the many diners. A few years ago, they shared their recipe with Southern Living for everyone to try at home. It’s easy to make, reheats well and gets rave reviews. Give grits a try. Who knows, maybe LA is ready for some Southern polenta. We clearly are!
Crook’s Corner Shrimp and Grits
2 cups water
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 t teaspoon salt
1 cup regular grits
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened.
3. Add cheddar cheese and next four ingredients. Keep warm.
3 slices bacon
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside.
2. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour.
3. Sauté mushrooms (if using) in hot bacon drippings in skillet 5 minutes or until tender. Add green onions and sauté 2 minutes.
4. Add shrimp and garlic and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly brown.
5. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice and Tabasco and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.
6. Serve shrimp over hot cheese grits. Top with crumbled bacon.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.