On this Sunday’s edition of brunch in Bed(Stuy), I bring you a southern favorite: shrimp and grits.
Grits are small broken grains of corn and were first prepared by Native Americans They’ve become a staple of Southern cuisine. Three-quarters of grits are made from what is referred to as the Grits Belt, the coastal states stretching from Louisiana to the Carolinas.
The combination between shrimp and grits, which has become famous, started way back when in the Low Country and become iconic to the rest of the country in the late 80s when written about by the New York Times.
Each component in this dish – from the shrimp to the grits to the bacon, scallions and poached egg – pair beautifully together. They each add different flavors and textures and it’s no wonder this is a tried and true favorite pairing!
I was inspired by Dave Chang’s Momofuku shrimp and grits recipe!
I will say, the most difficult thing about this dish (minus potentially overcooking the grits, which I nearly did) is to have each component ready at the same moment or nearly there to plating. You don’t want cold shrimp or a cold poached egg etc. In a restaurant kitchen, this would be a perfectly timed affair – a choreographed dance of pans on burners being whisked away at the right moment to the customer’s table. In my own kitchen, we aren’t necessarily at that point yet, but I try!
*I will be honest that my grits might not be as creamy as they should be… in my defense, I’ve never had them before remember? So I really can’t be blamed.
I’d never had grits before this dish. I gotta say, I like them! I will definitely be making this dish again. A little bacon, a piece of shrimp, grits soaked with runny egg yolk – it’s a perfect bite!
- 1 cup grits
- 4 cups water
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1-to-1½-inch-long strips
- 4 Poached Eggs
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Slowly stir grits and salt into briskly boiling water.
- Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until it shrinks to about half its original size and is crisp and browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat and wipe skillet clean; set aside.
- Place shrimp in a large bowl and add oil; season with salt and toss to coat. Heat cast-iron skillet over high heat and add shrimp, working in batches if necessary. Sear 1 to 2 minutes, flip and continue cooking until shrimp have just become opaque and have browned slightly. Remove from pan.
- Divide grits evenly between 4 bowls; top each with crisp bacon and a poached egg. Divide shrimp and scallions evenly between bowls and serve immediately.