Watch Cooking Channel

Southern Staples: Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy

Every recipe has a story to tell,” explains Chef Darin Sehnert of Savannah, Georgia. I have found that this statement couldn’t be truer for Southern recipes, which embody American culinary heritage rooted in technique and tradition. Though I didn’t grow up in the South, and I essentially have no ties to Southern cuisine, I am currently in the throes of a love affair with all things Southern, from biscuits and gravy to barbecue-slathered pork ribs. This all started the summer I worked at a barbecue restaurant in Vermont, where I instantly developed an appreciation for pulled pork, collard greens and pecan pie. With folk recipes dating back to the birth of our nation, it’s no wonder that Chef Darin says recipes contain stories.

Consider Shrimp and Grits. This elegant, yet simple, Southern staple started out with humble roots as just a fisherman’s breakfast. Chef Darin shared his recipe for Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy with us.

Grits are easy to get wrong, especially when cooked quickly in water. But when grits are cooked gently, each grain becomes tender and swollen with the chicken stock and milk in which it is cooked. And as is true with barbecue, grits benefit from “low and slow” cooking. Finish off the grits with a swirl of butter and heavy cream. The grains will plump up and become creamy, creating the perfect bed for the shrimp and gravy.

Traditionally, red eye gravy is made by frying up bits of ham and deglazing the pan with black coffee, which adds a savory depth and slight bitterness. In this version, Chef Darin uses smoked bacon instead (bacon and coffee just happen to be my two favorite foods– it’s no wonder I love this dish so much!). First, fry a bit of smoked bacon, then caramelize peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms in the rendered fat. Finally, deglaze with some cold black coffee, scraping up all the flavorful bits stuck to the pan. The dish is finished by poaching the shrimp in the steaming hot gravy. This historical dish rooted in Southern cuisine is a complete meal in itself.

Rich and Creamy Grits

Recipe courtesy Chef Darin Sehnert

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking grits
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Combine the milk, chicken stock, salt and pepper in a large 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Add the grits and let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the grits to begin absorbing liquid. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and turn the heat down to the lowest setting on the stove. Continue cooking until the liquid is mostly absorbed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the consistency gets too thick, you can always add more stock or milk.

Stir in the butter, cheese and cream. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve warm.

Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy

Recipe courtesy Chef Darin Sehnert

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips smoked bacon, cut cross-wise into thin strips
  • 4 to 6 branches fresh thyme
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup cold black coffee
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine or sherry or brandy
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound large 16-20 count uncooked shrimp, peeled
  • Creamy grits, for serving

Directions:

Place bacon in large saute or braising pan and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered. Meanwhile, bruise the whole thyme sprigs by lightly pounding with the side of the wide end of a chef’s knife. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pan for cooking the vegetables.

Add the bruised thyme, onions and bell peppers to the bacon grease. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper. Stir to coat with the bacon grease and spread the vegetables evenly across the bottom of the pan. Cook until the peppers and onions are nicely browned. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes and reserved bacon and another sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Cook until the mushrooms and tomatoes have cooked down and given off their juices.

Deglaze the pan with the coffee and stir to scrape up cooked-on bits. Allow the coffee to cook down until reduced by half, and then add the chicken broth and hot pepper sauce. While the chicken broth is coming to a simmer, begin pulling the thyme sprigs from the pan, scraping the stems with the edge of a spoon to remove the leaves that haven’t yet fallen off. Discard the stems.

When the mixture comes to a simmer, mix together the Madeira and cornstarch, and then add into the pan. Cook until thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, black pepper or hot pepper sauce. Stir in the peeled shrimp and cook until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes. Serve over creamy grits.

Check out our gallery of Cajun favorites.

Tags:

Comments (2086)

  1. BqHQK7r1sb BqHQK7r1sb posted 09/19/2013

    Healing’s Dragon…

    to uncover matters to boost my web site!I suppose its ok to create use of a few of your ideas!!…

  2. Title…

    […]Here is a good Blog You may Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]…

  3. Retinol posted 09/20/2013

    Title…

    […]one of our guests recently proposed the following website[…]…

  4. Canon 40d for sale posted 09/21/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  5. best e cig posted 09/21/2013

    Title…

    […]please visit the websites we stick to, like this 1, as it represents our picks from the web[…]…

  6. here posted 09/21/2013

    Title…

    […]very handful of internet sites that transpire to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively worth checking out[…]…

  7. Cheapest Inkjet Cartridges posted 09/21/2013

    The Birch of the Shadow…

    I believe there may possibly be a handful of duplicates, but an exceedingly handy list! I’ve tweeted this. Many thanks for sharing!…

  8. Text Your Ex Back reviews posted 09/22/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  9. graffiti history posted 09/22/2013

    Old School Graffiti Artists…

    It’s safe to say that lots of New Yorkers hated the “art” sprayed all over the subway cars. Nevertheless I wondered what percentage of residents long for the old graffiti, so I tallyed the residents in the commentary section. We see that, not countin…

  10. refinancerefinance mortgage posted 09/22/2013

    Title…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to mainly because we think they may be worth visiting[…]…

  11. Craigslist Search Engine posted 09/23/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  12. flyer guenstig drucken posted 09/23/2013

    awesome Information…

    […] below you’ll find things to some sites you can visit […]…

  13. good post…

    Good day I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Bing for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also lov…

  14. BCLS posted 09/24/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am regularly saying that its difficult to get quality help, but here is…

  15. Best Air Purifiers posted 09/24/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am constantnly saying that its difficult to get good help, but here is…

  16. furbies posted 09/24/2013

    Title…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nonetheless actually really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular find out about Mid East has got more problerms also […]…

  17. nrl posted 09/24/2013

    Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  18. nrl betting posted 09/24/2013

    Bored at work…

    I like to surf in various places on the internet, often I will just go to Stumble Upon and follow thru…

  19. thank you…

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A number of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have a…

  20. biuro rachunkowe posted 09/24/2013

    nice…

    great post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you\’ve a great readers\’ base already!…

  21. cool post…

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet wit…

  22. thanks…

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this webs…

  23. loans for bad credit posted 09/25/2013

    Check this out…

    Nice blog here! Also your website lots up fast!…

  24. how to get laid posted 09/25/2013

    Links…

    The overall look of your website is excellent, let neatly as the content material!…

  25. apartments near vanderbilt posted 09/25/2013

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I found this…

  26. Title…

    […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but do not get quite a bit of link like from[…]…

  27. how to relieve tmj tension posted 09/26/2013

    Title…

    […]very couple of sites that take place to become in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]…

  28. Pozycjonowanie WWW posted 09/26/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting information…

  29. Darren Partridge Insurance posted 09/27/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am forever proclaiming that its hard to procure good help, but here is…

  30. personal finance posted 09/27/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  31. speedy barcodes posted 09/27/2013

    Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  32. Title…

    […]the time to study or check out the material or sites we’ve linked to beneath the[…]…

  33. face lift Cardiff posted 09/28/2013

    Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  34. pron posted 09/28/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to piddeling around online and found…

  35. Halloween Costumes…

    […]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[…]……

  36. v2cigs posted 09/28/2013

    Just Browsing…

    While I was surfing today I saw a excellent article about…

  37. Afvallen posted 09/28/2013

    Digg…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I found this…

  38. http://www.rooferchicago.net posted 09/29/2013

    Title…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  39. flat roof repair posted 09/29/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  40. Singapore yoga for elders posted 09/29/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting info…

  41. Title…

    […]Every when inside a even though we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest internet sites that we decide on […]…

  42. Cymbalta Coupon posted 09/29/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its hard to find informative and precise info but here I found…

  43. swift money posted 09/29/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am regularly saying that its difficult to procure good help, but here is…

  44. spelling connections posted 09/29/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really cool topic…

  45. buy youtube views posted 09/29/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  46. seo posted 09/30/2013

    Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]……

  47. cna classes online posted 09/30/2013

    Tumblr article…

    I saw someone talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  48. air quality testing kitchener posted 09/30/2013

    Looking around…

    I like to look around the online world, regularly I will just go to Digg and follow thru…

  49. jwphotogallery posted 09/30/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While browsing Yahoo I discovered this site in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c