So I'm specifically uploading this to submit for the "Recipes I Want to be Remembered For" contest, because since I've moved from my hometown of Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA this has been the recipe I've cooked the most. Its impressive, tastes refined but also homey at the same time, showcases the best of Southern Cuisine, but is still accessible to my West Coast family. To me it tastes like home, to the folks here in sunny LA it tastes foreign - like a cuisine they've never been exposed to. When you say the word "grits" in polite company in Los Angeles, people give you strange looks, like you just suggested they eat an insect of sorts. But once they taste how creamy, smooth, and delicious grits can be, my friends have all been instant converts. When I'm missing the humid, thunderstorms of the deep south, I cook this for my family, and enjoy the cool ocean breezes, thinking of past celebrations and present joys. —ModernSwap
vidalia onion (or other sweet onion), diced
garlic cloves, minced
chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 1/2 cups
old fashioned grits (do not use instant!)
smoked cheese (gouda, cheddar or fontina), shredded
large eggs, lightly beaten
scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds
large (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a 12-inch ovensafe skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and salt - cook until golden, about 5 - 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and chipotle and cook 30 seconds more.
Stir in water and cream and bring to a slight boil. Slowly whisk in grits. Be sure to constantly stir or else your grits will become lumpy. Reduce heat to low and keep stiring till grits are thick and creamy - about 15 minutes total.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheese, eggs, most of the scallions(reserve a handful for garnish) and 2-3 twists of pepper.
Lay shrimp on their sides in a pinwheel formation over the grits. Press each shrimp lightly into the grits so they are slightly nestled in the mixture.
Place pan uncovered in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown - about 15 minutes. Check the casserole by gently shaking the dish - if its still really jiggly, pop it back in for a few more minutes. Once done, remove skillet from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish the dish with the left over scallions. Serve with a nice green salad to cool the palette - this dish is spicy!