This week as part of Sips of the South, Sweet Tea and Biscuits is asking other bloggers to dish on their Favorite Southern Meal.
Since I grew up in Tennessee, you think I'm going to say BBQ, don't you?
Or, steamed crabs, because I now live near the Chesepeake Bay?
While I would never walk away from a table of ribs or crabs, my favorite Southern meal comes from the Lowcountry....Shrimp & Grits.
photo credit: www.sogoodblog.com
I like Shrimp & Grits any way you serve them - creamy, cheesey, bar-b-qued! Seafood, cheese, sausage...what's not to love?
photo credit: www.timeinc.com
Because I'm an emotional eater, I also love all the memories my mind serves up when I think about this dish...like family vacations to Charleston, or when my friend Annie Laurie whipped up a batch to serve at a surprise birthday dinner for me....or the first time I made shrimp & grits for Mr. W.
When I cook shrimp and grits, I use a variation of the recipe from the cookbook of my author boyfriend Pat Conroy. Here's the recipe!
Pat Conroy's Shrimp and Grits
1 cup coarse white grits
2 slices country bacon (thick slices), cut into matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
1 small shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon strained fresh lemon juice
Coarse or kosher salt
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce
Pat doesn't use cheese, but I do....and sometimes also smoked sausage...and a dash or two of garlic powder
Slow-cook the grits according to the package directions. (This will take about 60 minutes.) Set aside. Pat doesn't do this, but I add a little chicken broth to my grits while they cook....very tastey!
Place a medium, heavy skillet over moderate heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and reserve in a small bowl, keeping the pan as is, fat and all. (This can be done in advance. Do not cook the shrimp until the grits are ready and resting.)
Return the skillet with the bacon fat to moderate heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft but not colored. Add butter and when it's melted, add shrimp, cooking until just pink, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt and toss to coat.
Spoon about 1/2 cup steaming grits into the middle of each warm plate. Using a slotted spoon, place shrimp on top of the grits. Add reserved bacon and Tabasco to the pan juices, swirling the skillet for a few seconds to create a thin sauce. Pour over the shrimp and grits.
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