SYD Grilled Shrimps and Grits

April 27th, 20154 Comments

SYD Grilled Shrimps and Grits
 
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In my travels through Louisiana and the Gulf states of America, I’m always on the lookout for delicious Shrimp and Grits on restaurant menus. I’ve sampled many variations of this Southern dish and every time I eat one that I like, I make mental notes about what’s so special about it. Here’s my cheat-sheet of what I think makes excellent shrimp and grits: I like the roux-based sauce to be dark and nutty; grits cheesy and creamy while not being too runny or thick; I like some crumbled bacon to contrast the texture of the sweet shrimp; and I like a hint of lemon juice which freshens up the dish. I think it’s important that the shrimp be cooked separately from the grits and not be overcooked. It should really be removed from the grill or stove a bit underdone. When the barely cooked shrimp is placed on top of the hot roux sauce and grits, the shrimp finishes cooking on the residual heat. I had these goals in my mind when I set out to create my perfect shrimp and grits. I hope you’ll try my recipe and find it the tastiest version you’ve experienced.

I think the foundation of a good shrimp and grits dish is the roux-based sauce. A roux (pronounced "roo") is a thickening agent for soups and sauces with roots dating back more than 300 years in French cuisine. Roux is a staple in Cajun and Creole dishes, especially gumbo and jambalaya. You cook flour and oil until the raw flour flavor gets cooked off. Depending on how long you cook the flour and oil mixture, the color starts white (used for Béchamel sauce) and turns blonde, then brown, and then dark brown after about 40 minutes. The white and blonde roux are used to thicken sauces, soups, and chowders. The brown and dark brown versions have nuttier flavors but have less thickening ability than the light colored ones. Because it takes a while to make the darker roux, you can make more and store it in the fridge or freezer to save time when you need it next.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Louisiana
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoon SYD All Purpose Rub
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lemon, cut into half
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Roux
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon SYD All Purpose Rub
  • 3 cups water
  • Grits
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup regular grits, not instant
  • 8 oz white cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Roux
  2. Pour ½ cup vegetable oil in a heavy bottom saucepan and set to med-low heat.
  3. Whisk in ½ cup all-purpose flour. As the oil warms up, the roux will begin to cook and change color. Keep stirring the flour-oil mixture with a whisk until you reach the desired brown color you like. The darker the roux, the deeper will be the nutty roux flavor. It took me 25 minutes on my stove top burner to reach the color I wanted. The heat should be set to a low simmer. Try not to burn the roux else you have to start over.
  4. When the roux is ready, remove your pan from the stove and slowly add water. Add a little water and stir to incorporate before you add more water. This amount of roux should make about 3 cups of gravy. Be careful in case the hot roux boils over. Return the pan to the stove top and gently simmer. Once roux sauce is done, season to taste with SYD All Purpose rub and set aside to keep warm.

  5. Grits
  6. To make the grits, melt ½ stick of butter in a saucepan
  7. Add the milk and water then add your grits
  8. Stir with a whisk and cook the grits
  9. Once the grits are about halfway done, stir in the second ½ stick of butter
  10. Cook until grits are done, stir in the cheese. If you don’t have white cheddar, you can use any cheese you like. Take note that your grits will colored by the color of your cheese
  11. Adjust the grits to the thickness you like using more or less milk or cheese
  12. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Set aside to keep warm
  13. Shrimp
  14. Peel shrimp, remove vein, and place in a bowl. Toss with some oil to coat the shrimp so the rub will stick. Add chopped garlic and sprinkle SYD rub onto the shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate for a few minutes

  15. Cook bacon and drain. I used 6 slices for 4 servings
  16. Slice green onions and cut lemon into half
  17. Grill the shrimp on direct heat until shrimp is pink and barely done. If your shrimp are small and could fall through your grill grates, you can skewer then before grilling. You can also sauté your shrimp in a pan on the stove
  18. As the shrimp comes off the grill, place them in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon butter and green onions and toss. Let the residual heat melt the butter and wilt the green onions
  19. Squeeze lemon juice onto shrimp
  20. Season to taste with more SYD All Purpose rub
  21. Ladle gravy into serving bowl. Ladle a puddle of grits in the middle. Add the lemony butter green onion shrimp. Crumble bacon on top. Enjoy

4 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Ed parsons says:

    Harry, made your Spicy Sriracha honey glazed chicken wings last night. They are off the hook! New family favorite, keep the great recipes coming.

  2. JJ says:

    Hello from New Orleans! It’s oceanographer JJ from your BBQ 101 class last year this time; which BTW totally changed my bbq skills. Can’t thank you enough for that. Nothing, nothing, beats getting to poke a Harry So brisket with my own hands to really "grok" what "done" feels like. etc., etc. etc. Next time you are in the NOLA area, we will be disappointed if y’all don’t stop by 🙂 Seriously.

    ==
    Long story short, my gal is a local Cajun and insists, (and trust me most locals endlessly "discuss" the topic of good roux), that the picture is showing a blond roux. When I first saw what a dark roux looked like, I was very skeptical, but try it sometime twice as dark. That might change your life 🙂 But it is tricky to get it dark but not burned. Well worth the effort IMHO.

    Hope to see you at the Backyard event, but can’t really drag a BGE on the plane…

    • Harry Soo says:

      Yes, please tell your gal she is right. My roux was lighter. I wanted it less strong to not overpower the sweet delicate shrimp. Dark roux has a nuttier flavor and I think it’s crazy good with a more robust flavored protein.

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