Shrimp and Grits is a timeless dish of the south where I grew up and it thrills me that my husband & children here on the west coast love it in all its forms. For my sister’s 60th birthday, I concocted this appetizer to express our Southern heritage. Can you serve the traditional shrimp and grits in a one bite form? Sure, just take care to make the grits stiff and on the thin side. Be warned, you may want to slurp the bourbon coffee reduction with a straw!
These little darlin’s need to be served hot. Of course, you could make the grilled grits in bigger squares, top with more than a few shrimp & lots of glaze and serve as an entrée…
24 - 2" rounds
Stone Ground Grits (never instant) I like Callaway Gardens Speckeled Heart Stone Ground
Sharp cheddar cheese (preferably white) coarsely grated
Bourbon Coffee Reduction
Bourbon, quality does matter!
Dark brown sugar
Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
Pinch of Cayenne
In This Recipe
Day before cook grits - Add grits and salt to 4C boiling water. Turn heat down and stir constantly until there are no lumps. Cook slowly at low temp for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When grits are a creamy consistency but not soupy, add cheese. Stir to melt and blend in. Then pour hot mixture into well oiled 9x13 cookie sheet and spread to a smooth surface that covers the entire pan. The goal is to have consistent thickness of about 3/8-1/2". Cool completely before covering with plastic wrap and chilling in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Bourbon Coffee Reduction
Make Bourbon Coffee Glaze - Combine brewed coffee, bourbon, brown sugar and soy sauce in a small saucepan over med high heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and liquid is reduced by half. Then whisk in ketchup and Worcestershire. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Add chocolate and cayenne to finish. Keep warm . May be cooked the day before and gently reheated just before service.
24 shrimp, raw, shelled, deveined, tailed, (31-40) size
2 garlic cloves, chopped
~ 1/8C EVO
Just before service - While grill pan heats up over high heat cut chilled grits into rounds with a 2" biscuit cutter. Brush each round with EVO and place on hot grill pan. Then brush the exposed sides with more oil. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes till a light crust forms and grill marks appear.
Meanwhile, saute shrimp & garlic over med high heat. Cook until just colored and remove promptly. Keep warm. Keep in mind the shrimp will continue to cook off the heat so don't over-do.
Assemble shrimp on top of grilled grits round, drizzle with glaze and garnish with a chive baton. Serve immediately. Hope ya'll like 'em.
Feel free to add finely minced jalapeno or Serrano, garlic or onions to the grits when you add the cheese for a more 'yankee' version.