RECIPE: CLASSIC SOUTHERN GULF SHRIMP AND GRITS

CLASSIC SOUTHERN SHRIMP AND GRITS

Serves 4

Classic Southern Shrimp and Grits Martie Duncan

INGREDIENTS

For the Grits

3 cups 2% milk

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup stone-ground grits

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish

 For the Shrimp

24 large fresh Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on, save the shells to create a shrimp stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved

3 bay leaves

1 pinch ground cayenne pepper or to taste

Juice from 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 Directions:

For the grits: In a medium saucepan, bring the water and milk for the grits to a gentle boil. Whisk in the grits. Add the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and whisk the grits often to prevent sticking. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the grits are soft and to a consistency you like. When the grits have thickened, stir in the cheese and butter and put a lid on the pot.

For the Shrimp: Add all the shrimp peel to a pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Allow to cool. Strain the shells and reserve the stock.

Towards the end of the cooking time for the grits, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.

Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook about a minute.

Stir in the tomatoes with half their juice; add the bay leaves and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Return the heat under the tomatoes to medium high and add1/2 cup of the reserved shrimp stock and a bit more of the tomato juice, if desired. Once it is bubbling, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, approximately 5-6 minutes.

Remove the shrimp to a plate. Stir in the lemon juice into sauce. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the final tablespoon butter and stir. Remove from heat and add the parsley. Return the shrimp to the sauce.

To serve, place a heaping spoonful of grits on each plate. Top with the shrimp and sauce. Garnish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

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RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SCONES FOR THE ROYAL WEDDING!

Ohhh, I love strawberries... and these scrumptious little scones are perfect for strawberries in so many ways.... Serve them piping hot and fresh from the oven with butter, cream, and jam or sliced for strawberry shortcake. Either way, these scones are simple to make and you can substitute the strawberries for all kinds of savory and sweet options. Read the directions carefully because the fresh strawberries make the dough a little tricky. Not hard, just easy to mess up if you are not careful when mixing in the strawberries. The batter can get too wet if you mix for more than a couple of seconds. That said, the fresh strawberries make these scones so perfect for spring and summer entertaining. Enjoy!

strawberry-scones.jpg

 

FRESH STRAWBERRY SCONES

1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (use very fresh strawberries, not really juicy ones)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 ½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, diced

2 eggs, beaten (make sure eggs are cold so you don’t melt the butter)

½ cup less 1 teaspoon heavy cream (make sure it is cold)

1 teaspoon imitation strawberry extract (optional but it really pumps up the flavor)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Egg Wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk or water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Spread the fresh strawberries out on a paper towel after you dice them and allow them to dry out a bit. This way, some of the juice is absorbed before you put them into the batter. If the berries are too juicy, the batter becomes too wet. Allow the berries to “dry” for at least an hour first before adding to the batter. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

In the large bowl of your mixer, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, and baking powder, salt, and lemon zest on the lowest speed of your mixer; add the cold butter until the butter is the size of peas. Crack the eggs into a bowl, one at a time; add the cold cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and strawberry extract. Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork to combine and slowly pour into the flour mixture. The batter will quickly combine. As soon as it comes together, stop the mixer. Don’t over beat. Now, quickly toss the strawberries with the remaining flour and add to the mixture. Turn on the mixer for approximately 10 seconds to incorporate the berries. Be very careful; if you mix it too much, the strawberries will make the batter too wet. If you have strawberries left in the bottom of the mixer, just dump them out with the batter and work them in when you roll out the dough.

Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface. Before you touch it, I find it helps to rinse your hands with cold water so the heat from your hands does not melt the butter. Flour your hands, the rolling pin, and the biscuit cutter. Working quickly, roll the dough out to about ¾ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circles. Place the dough onto the baking pan lined with parchment paper and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until the tops are browned. If the scones are large, you may need to increase the baking time.

These scones are best eaten hot from the oven. And you can add a classic Confectioners’ sugar glaze if you like but they are wonderful without. 

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