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- 1/2 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine ground fennel seed
- 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, head-on, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups stone ground grits
- 1 loaf of French bread, for serving
- 1 stick unsalted butter
Who doesn’t love a good serving of shrimp and grits? In New Orleans, we love barbecue shrimp and, no, it’s not just slathered with some barbecue sauce. This is a traditional NOLA dish made with a lot of seasoning, herbs and damn good grits. Head-on shrimp are coated in a rich and buttery sauce loaded with Creole spice, that, when you plate up is best ladled over the dish so that there's plenty to get mopped up with a loaf of soft, crusty French bread.
If you're wary of a two-starch dish, don't be! The soppin' bread may just be the most important part of this and your tastebuds will thank you for it.
Technique tip: Try your best to get top quality fresh shrimp with the heads on. It makes all the difference.
Use stone ground grits. When they're done cooking, they should be a little loose in texture.
Swap option: You can substitute coconut milk for whole milk.
For the Shrimp:
- In a large bowl, combine pepper, fennel and salt and toss shrimp in the spice blend until well coated. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan with oil over medium heat.
- When oil just starts to smoke, add shrimp and cook for one minute. Flip shrimp and cook another minute.
- Add garlic and sweat for 30 seconds.
- Add Worcestershire, cream, lemon juice and hot sauce to pan. Reduce sauce to double the cream's consistency, about one minute.
- Remove pan from heat and add butter, shaking pan to emulsify.
For the Grits:
- In a large thick bottomed sauce pan bring milk and salt to a low simmer.
- Add grits and continue cooking for 45 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently. If grits become too thick, add a little water.
- Stir in butter.
- To plate, divide grits among 4 to 6 bowls and spoon shrimp and sauce over. Serve with toasted French bread (aka, soppin bread).