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Video: Try Southern treats like pickled shrimp, grits

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    >>> all right, award-winning cookbook authors grew up in this fine city developing a love affair with the cuisine. and the lee brothers, we're so delighted to be here, " charleston kitchen." we're happy to be here.

    >> we're starting off down here i understand with some moonshine.

    >> we are in the south, after all.

    >> moonshine martinis from our new book. spiced with madeira.

    >> where do you get moonshine.

    >> you don't ask. you do not ask. you take donations.

    >> you shake it up and we garnish it with boiled peanuts .

    >> the boiled peanuts , from the peanut man.

    >> are they good.

    >> you want to try, kath?

    >> sure.

    >> this is unconventional garnish, but in the low country. it's nice and saucy. see what you think.

    >> i think it's fine.

    >> oh, my gosh, that could take the nail polish off.

    >> now we see something --

    >> please help yourself to a little shrimp this is nice pickled shrimp. it's not pickled like a dill pickle , it's just marinated.

    >> shrimp, fennel, chilies and a little brine over it.

    >> and cook it up like that?

    >> this is shrimp-rific today, this is shrimp and grits. shrimp that have been cut lengthwise. cut it lengthwise and that's why --

    >> because they'll curl up in a fetal position.

    >> exactly, you know this.

    >> they grab more gravy.

    >> what is this gravy?

    >> tomato puree.

    >> fresh tomatoetomatoes.

    >> is there particular tomatoes you like to use?

    >> the ones from john's island. close by.

    >> and garlic, and shrimp that are already to go.

    >> look at that shrimp and grits.

    >> we'll talk a couple of those.

    >> here we are in charleston , after all.

    >> these look amazing.

    >> how many shrimp and grits have you eaten today?

    >> this is our first.

    >> what is that dessert?

    >> moving on.

    >> don't take it, thank you.

    >> it's a cool sort of accident. it's got this sludgy bottom, apples and pecans.

    >> it's not the prettiest.

    >> that's part of the charm.

    >> it's super rustic, super delicious.

    >> delicious. with a meringue type top.

    >> it's delicious!

    >> i'll just take one more tiny bite is.

    >> i had heard the cuisine in charleston , until you're here and taste these tastes, you have though no idea how many spectacular it is.

TODAY recipes
updated 5/1/2013 4:47:30 PM ET 2013-05-01T20:47:30

Matt Lee and Ted Lee are natives of Charleston, S.C., a place that gave the brothers a deep and abiding love of delicious “Lowcountry” cuisine. Here, the food and travel writers share a recipe for shrimp and grits from their newest cookbook, “The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen.”

“These days everyone’s got his or her own riff on shrimp and grits, and our own formula seems always to be evolving,” they write in the cookbook. “This recipe represents our latest take on the dish ...

Image: Shrimp and grits
"The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen"

“Each shrimp piece is easier to eat in one bite, the twisted shape grabs more sauce and gives the overall impression of a lighter dish. Especially if jumbo shrimp are the only ones available in your area, you’ll find this an appealing way to cook shrimp and grits.”

Recipes reprinted from the book "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" by Matt Lee and Ted Lee.  Copyright © 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Photographs copyright © 2013 by Squire Fox.  Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Recipe: Shrimp and grits (on this page)

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Shrimp and grits

  • For the shrimp:
  • 1 1/4 pounds headless large (21 to 25 count) shell-on shrimp
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch of cayenne
  • 1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into large dice
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Charleston Hominy (recipe follows)
  • For the Charleston Hominy:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup stone-ground coarse grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the shrimp:
1. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserving the shrimp in a bowl and the shells in a small saucepan. Add 2 cups of water, the bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar, and the cayenne to the saucepan with the shells. With a spoon, tamp the shells down beneath the surface of the water, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Uncover, turn the heat to medium low, and let the shrimp stock simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, slice the shrimp in half lengthwise.

3. Put the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and add the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Process to a smooth purée, then strain through a fine sieve, pressing the skin and seeds to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the skin and seeds. You should have 1 1/2 cups of tomato purée.

4. Scatter the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is alluringly browned and has rendered its fat, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small paper-towel-lined plate and cook the shrimp in the bacon fat in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan, and stirring occasionally, just until they’ve curled into corkscrews and turned pink, about 2 minutes; reserve on a plate. Squeeze half the lemon over the shrimp and sprinkle with 2 pinches of salt.

5. Strain the shrimp stock into the sauté pan, discarding the solids, and stir with a wooden spoon to pick up the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the stock simmers, spoon off 2 tablespoons and then whisk them into the flour with a fork in a small bowl to make a paste. Add the tomato purée and the garlic to the pan, stir to combine, and then whisk the flour paste into the sauce. Cook until the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon.

6. Cut the heat, and fold the shrimp in just to warm through. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red wine vinegar. Cut the remaining lemon half into 4 wedges. Serve the shrimp over hot Charleston Hominy, and garnish with the reserved bacon and the lemon wedges.

To make the Charleston Hominy:
1. Pour the milk and 2 cups of water into a 2-quart saucepan, cover, and turn the heat to medium high. When the liquid simmers, add the grits, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir every couple of minutes until the grits have become fragrant, and are the consistency of thick soup, about 8 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often and ever more frequently, for about 20 minutes, by which time the bubbles will emerge infrequently as the grits have stiffened and fall lazily from the end of a spoon. Add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent the thickened grits from scorching on the bottom of the pan (appoint someone to the stirring task if you have to step away — a scorched pot of grits is bitter and a total loss). If your grits thicken too quickly, or if they are too gritty for your taste, add water by the half cup, stirring to incorporate, and continue cooking until tender.

3. When the grits are stiff and stick well to the spoon, turn off the heat and stir. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately. Makes 3 cups.

Serving Size

Serves: 4. Time: 1 hour.

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