Tag Archives: Southern Food

Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Ann Arbor Food

Ever since my trip to  the low country, Northern Georgia, South Carolina, last winter, and I had shrimp and grits, I have been a big fan. Here is the picture of  the shrimp and grits I had in Birmingham, Alabama.

I purchased a 5LB bag from a small local mill, and have since used it all. There a few different ways to make grits. Grit are basically course corn meal. The white corn variety is not found much up north, so I use the yellow often labeled polenta.

Grit are basically a corn porridge. The recipe I am sharing uses milk, and cheese, and it is topped with saute shrimp. Broiled shrimp, or grilled shrimp are great too. I sometimes use sausage instead of shrimp, or use these cheese grits as a starch side dish for other meals.

Shrimp and Grits: Serves Four

Ingredients:

2 cups of water
2 cups of milk
1 cup of grits (or polenta)
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parm cheese
4 pieces of bacon
4 scallions slices small
2 cloves of minced garlic
juice of 1 lemon
Old Bay seasoning
1 pound of shrimp

Procedure:

In a sauce pan, bring the water, milk, and cream to a boil. Stir in the grits. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mean while, peel and de-vain the shrimp, and dust with some old bay seasoning.

In a saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp, and chop into a small dice. Remove the fat from the pan.

In the same saute pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute in the butter for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, in batches if you need to, and saute for 1-2 per side until they turn pink. squeeze the lemon juice on top of shrimp.

When the grits are done, add both cheeses and stir. Serve the grits in a bowl, grate more parm cheese on top, top with shrimp and garnish with scallion and bacon.

Add pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Version: Omit the shrimp, and bacon, and add two thick sliced onions, and two red peppers cut into strips. Cook the polenta and add the cheese. Saute the onions and peppers in butter, and add some smoked paprika and pepper to taste. Garnish with scallions.

Alabama Trip: Day Four

Ann Arbor Food

“This is some of the best BBQ I’ve every chewed on.” I overheard this in the doorway from a guy waiting to be seated. And I have to agree.

The place was Jim ‘N Nick’s, in Birmingham. It s a huge place, and because there was a bowl game in town, UConn vs South Carolina, the place was packed.

Did I eat BBQ (Pork) almost was day in Alabama? I think so. That is why I bring oatmeal and fruit and cut the heavy eating I tend to do down south.

For Dinner: Meal down south come as a meat and two-three sides. Some people go for the Vegetable Plate which is three sides and corn bread. The veggies are so rich from being fried, cooked with bacon, with butter or cream, that the veggies plate is more than enough

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Sweet Tea (popular in the south)

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Corn biscuits

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My Dinner of Pork ribs, ham, creamed spinach, collard greens with BBQ sauce

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Pulled Pork BBQ, with sauce and pickles, Baked beans and collards

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Turkey BBQ

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Chicken BBQ with potato salad and collards

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Tilapia with apples and creamed spinach

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Lemon Pie

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Chocolate Cream pie

My Trip to Alabama: Dinner day One

Ann Arbor Food

uncooked sweet mini sweet potato biscuits

Here are some pics of the meal on my first night in Alabama. I go down south after Christmas to visit with Emily’s relatives for the last few years. I am a big fan of the food, and food culture down south, which is a big contrast to my New Jersey/New England roots. The food can be on the heavy side because of the heavy use of pork, fried items, and cream based vegetable side dishes. This time I came prepared and brought with me oat meal and dried fruit for breakfast, and a bag of oranges to help balance out the heavy foods.

The big stand outs are the southern staples like country ham, pork BBQ, sweet potato, corn grits, creamed corn and corn bread, turnip and collard greens, okra, pecans,various pickles hot and sweet vegetable pickles, sorghum sugar, and buttermilk biscuits.

Other stands outs are the use of beans, and fresh pea varieties not found much in the north, which are called crowder pea. They called the green peas we eat up north “English Peas.”

Tonight’s meal consisted of fried oysters, country ham, my sweet potato biscuits, turnip greens, potato salad, corn dressing (stuffing), and sweet potato pie for dessert.

Fried Oysters: serves 2-4

Ingredients:

24-48 oysters (2 pints cans) or hand shucked with oyster liquid reserved

For dredge coating:

1/2 cup AP flour
1/8 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

lemon wedges.

2-3 cups of oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil)

Lime Buttermilk Dressing (optional)

1/2 cup butter milk
juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon of honey
5-6 scallions small diced
1 clove of minced garlic
minced parsley
salt and pepper

Procedure:

Soak the oyster in the oyster liquid and drain (don’t rinse) just before adding to dredge mix. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot to a temp of 350. Dredge the oysters and place carefully in the hot oil. Fry for 30 seconds and flip and fry for 30 more seconds. place oysters on a double thick layer of paper towels to absorb some of the oil.

For the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and combine.

I eat them with just some lemon juice.

Serve immediately.

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A Southern Meal

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oyster being fried

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Cooked Oysters

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mini sweet potato biscuits

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country ham which I like to eat with sorghum syrup

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potato salad

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cornbread dressing

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turnip greens