Friday, April 1, 2011

Shrimp, Sausage and Grits

We've been going lighter on the meat and heavier on the seafood this week, after a lot of meat last week. Last night, I made shrimp, chicken sausage over creamy cheddar grits with a side of roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar. I was inspired by this recipe from thekitchn.com, and made a bunch of adjustments. It was really good, the shrimp was perfectly done with a good bite and texture, the sausage, onion and thyme gravy was really savory and everything tasted so good all mixed together with the rich and creamy grits and fresh green onions, without getting too heavy. Brussels sprouts were a nice green accompaniment with just a touch of refreshing acid from the balsamic vinegar. We opened a bottle of 2007 Beckman Grenache Blanc which had just enough tartness to pair well with the food and was also very refreshing in this warm weather. I think I may have kept it in the fridge too long, as it wasn't as lively or complex as I had remembered the previous bottles of the same vintage being. Some white wines just aren't meant to be aged as long; they start losing their character quickly.
Shrimp, Sausage and Grits Recipe:
For the grits (caveat: first time making grits, so I'm not sure if it tasted authentic, but tasted good to us):
  • Heat up four cups of milk (I used non-fat and it was fine) over medium high heat until it is just about to boil
  • Lower to medium low heat and add 1 cup of corn grits (I picked up mine from Whole Foods)
  • Whisk often. I think it took about 30-40 minutes to be done. Season with 1-1 1/4 tsp of salt
  • Add 1 TB of butter and half a cup of grated cheddar cheese (I like the lowfat Irish cheddar from Trader Joes which still has nice sharpness despite the low fat) and turn off the heat
While the grits are cooking:
  • Season 1 1/2 lbs of peeled and deveined shrimp with 1 1/2 tsp of old bay seasoning and juice from half a lemon.
  • Remove 2 links of chicken sausage from the casings and saute over medium high heat in a large pan over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes, until fully done and remove to a separate plate (original recipe calls for bacon but I had leftover chicken sausage from the cauliflower casserole I made earlier this week. I really like the fresh chicken sausage from Trader Joes; tastes really good and flavorful even though it's healthier than regular sausage)
  • In the same pan, saute the shrimp, about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping once, until done. Remove to another bowl with any liquid and drizzle with juice from half a lemon
  • Melt 1-2 TB of butter and 1-2 TB of olive oil over medium high heat and saute 1 whole onion, chopped, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add leaves from a few sprigs of thyme and 3 cloves of minced garlic for the last minute
  • Add 2 TB of flour and stir everything together well. Then add 1/2 a cup of white wine until the white wine is fully absorbed
  • Add 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. Then lower the heat and add back the shrimp and sausage until everything is heated through
  • Serve the shrimp, sausage gravy over the creamy grits and garnish with some fresh chopped green onions
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cut of the bottoms and halve 1 lb of brussels sprouts
  • Scatter on a large sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper. Make sure to not overcrowd the sheet pan or else the vegetables will steam and get soggy, not nicely roasted
  • Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until done
  • Put the brussels sprouts into a serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar

2 comments:

  1. Just came across your blog. Love the content! Your pups are so cute!

    ReplyDelete

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