YaYa’s Downtown Saturday Night ‘Tini’s Shrimp & Grits Night

The right sentence you need to say is: ‘Vorrei mangiare fuori’ or, ‘I’d love to eat outside’.

FYI “Al fresco” really means… I want to eat in prison…LOL

First fall “seasonal” dining out…no recipes included…everyone participated!

Such a wonderful evening, “dining out” with a few friends, but missing a few at the same time…shared well-tended dirty martini’s, great music, and fresh air dining in a most comfortable, the most comfortable atmosphere-at home, in the fresh air on the porch where we feast like kings and queens without the chaching$$$$ price tag, enjoying the wonderful flavors of the south, shrimp, grits and fresh collards.

Nothing better than good friends gathered and cooking together…we all love it, we all enjoy it, and we all really appreciate each other!

Before I moved to North Carolina a couple and a half decades ago I had only tasted nasty grits from restaurants.  In the year 2000 without the greatest results and still not to my liking, I gave up until probably just about the time Anson Mills started selling the antebellum grits online and then they became my 1 and only go-to favorite place for the antebellum grits, white or yellow.   Eventually, I placed orders for a good many of their products and they also became my favorites to stock up on…Anson Mills guided me to slow cooker antebellum grits recipe several years ago and that is my favorite method of getting to the final results that like especially for a large batch to serve several people, adapting here and there of course.  Finally, real course grits, we have a winner!

I love me some real course gritty grits!

I was always making some sort of flavorful seasoned shrimp dish so shrimp for grits couldn’t be that difficult and many times I just made a quick deglazed pan wine, stock, etc. sauce with a few added goodies to toss with the shrimp, but today, I made a “similar to Anson Mills” version, a thickened sauce (from a wonderful stock) and more than I usually make since we have “Grits Night” company.  So don’t neglect to make a good shrimp stock for now and later as it freezes well…a good hint, save all of your shells and make a big batch to package up and freeze for many uses.

Sauté shrimp in a little butter and a little bacon grease until just pink, quickly toss in 1 minced shallot and reserved crispy chopped bacon if you decided to use bacon, remove to warm dish add 2 cups hot shrimp stock to pan and whisk in a butter-flour roux (1 tbs butter and 2 tbs butter, smooshed) to thicken, toss shrimp into thickened sauce and serve over grits…

Garnishes, parsley, chives, extra bacon, chopped scallions.

Notes:  fry a few slices of bacon and reserve for adding to the finished shrimp later, use some of the bacon drippings to fry the shrimp.  

Please remember that shrimp only take a few minutes in a properly heated sauté pan with just a bit of bacon drippings or oil, nothing worse than bubbly boiling shrimp in too much liquid in a not hot enough pan

For full tales of grits and grains head on over to Anson Mills.com

Oops, moments in cooking exist and I had one of those moments while getting the grits ready in the slow cooker…I like to sauté a small diced shallot and a red and yellow seeded baby sweet in the slow cooker/high setting on stovetop option, just a brief sauté before I add the grits and filtered water, Oop, I forgot that I hadn’t switched to slow cooker option and started smelling the grits way too soo, alas ice cubes to the rescue for the double batch that I was making too cool them down before I put them on the proper temp…4 cups cubes did the trick and the grits were perfect in the end…after a 2 hour cooking time and additions of Quatro shaved cheeses and butter.Thinking Face on Google Android 10.0

Sorry for the old picture, but we were all too busy eating to take a photo…