Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heavy Topics

Or topics that will make you heavy ....

What's for dinner?

I've got an earache (still) that has caused the Bell's Palsy pain to flare up. So I'm going for soft and comfortable food today.

I think I want Shrimp and Grits. Yes, I had planned that for Christmas Eve, but we can do a test run today, right?

4 cups water
Salt and pepper
1 cup grits (stone-ground are the best, but quick grits will do in a pinch)
3 or 4tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cook the grits in the usual manner: boil water, salt and pepper. Slowly add grits, stirring as you add. Cover and cook for recommended amount of time (remember quick grits are different than “real grits” – quick grits cook in about 5 minutes, real grits take about 30.) Remember to stir as you are cooking. When they are at the “lava bubble’ stage, add the heavy cream and cheese and butter. Stir and let finish cooking – set aside.

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined -- about 20
6 slices bacon, chopped or 1/2 cup tasso ham (hard to find, you can use prosciutto)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced leeks (or scallions, or MILD onion)
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons diced green peppers
Dash of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Sauté the shrimp in about 1/4 cup olive oil or butter (don’t scorch!) until nice an pink. Remove from pan and then either cook bacon or tasso in the pan until browned. Remove and add to bowl with shrimp. Saute the aromatics, saving the garlic for the last minute or so (or else it will become bitter.) Sprinkle white flour over the aromatics when they are transparent and stir well. Slowly add wine and cream, stirring continually until thickened. Remove from heat and add back into the pan the shrimp and bacom. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Place one cup of the grits into a rimmed soup bowl and top with a quarter of the shrimp (about 5) and a quarter of the sauce. Serves 4.

Serve with oyster stew, fresh baked bread with garlic spread, green salad. Yum.

Garlic Spread
Roast 4 heads of garlic in oven for a nice long time. Remove and let cool. Set out a pound of butter to soften and place in big bowl. When cooled, break apart the garlic heads into cloves. Snip the tip of each clove and squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl Add a dash of salt and pepper and about a tablespoon of grated cheese. Mix with flat spatula until and chill until use.

No comments: