Some reunions with old friends can be awkward. "Remember that time? No?" Argh.. gulp gulp gulp. With my group of best friends from UGA (GO DAWGS!), it is the exact opposite. I have just spent the last weekend lizarding in the sun of Alabama's Gulf Coast in celebration of Jenn's (or Mother Hen as we like to call her) upcoming wedding. We all chatted on and on about the times we had in the little college village we created, complete with pet rooster (Knowshon), indoor inflatable pool (terrible idea), and stocked snack pantries. In those days, we ate A LOT. Though much of this activity took place while tailgating or under the cover of darkness at 3 am, we did cook the occasional family meal. .. or just asked Joanna to bring back food from home.
Miss Gina, Joanna's mom, is a wonderful Southern cook and makes the most amazing treats. When Joanna and I arrived back in Atlanta yesterday (after swearing we would never eat another morsel of food), we noodled down to the grocery store and cooked up Miss Gina's amazing spicy shrimp and grits. Then we went for ice cream. Oh well, the diet will have to wait till after football season... especially if UGA continues at this rate.
*Thanks Miss G!!!!!*
MISS GINA'S SPICY SHRIMP AND GRITS
1 ½ lbs of shrimp – remove tails
2 TBS Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Paprika
1 TBS dried Italian Seasoning
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or bouillon paste)
2 TBS butter or margarine
1 cup quick grits
1 heaping TBS tomato paste
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
3 ½ oz extra sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 TBS butter or margarine
1 TBS minced garlic
3 TBS all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp hot sauce
1 small can petite diced tomatoes (or rotel for a little heat)
First, peel and devein shrimp and remove tails. In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle mixture over shrimp to coat well. Set aside.
Next, make your grits. In medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and 2 tbs of butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don’t skimp on the butter or cream!
Now sauté the shrimp in a large sauté pan, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the spice coated shrimp and cook only until they’re done and tender. Don’t overcook. Remove the shrimp from the sauté pan and set aside.
The roux is next. With all the drippings from the shrimp, add 3 tbs of all purpose flour and stir to make roux. Cook for 10 minutes until roux reaches a medium tan color. Slowly add the chicken stock, heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes then whisk in the Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook until sauce is bubbly. Add the shrimp and cook for another couple of minutes. Serve over grits.