For the first nineteen years of my life, this Jersey girl's knowledge of grits was limited to their pivotal role in the Gambini-Rothenstein trial from My Cousin Vinny: they take twenty minutes to cook, no self-respecting Southerner would use instant, and you can't make flat tire marks with a Buick Skylark. It wasn't until I headed down to North Carolina for college that I truly appreciated grits for what they are: awesome.
Now that I'm back up north, I don't eat grits as much as I'd like, as evinced by this recipe, but they're made from corn, right? I've taken the classic shrimp and grits combination and substituted fresh corn for the milled stuff. The sweetness and creaminess remain, but a bit more pronounced, with a subtle bite. It's a dish even Fred Gwynne's crotchety judge could love.
ears of corn, shucked, kernels stripped from the cob
jalapeno pepper, minced
scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
shrimp (I prefer rock shrimp with this recipe, but regular peeled and deveined shrimp are fine)
Set a medium-to-large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the corn, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno, and allow to sizzle for a few minutes, stirring until they are just browned. Season with salt.
Pour in the cream and stir to coat. Let cook for five minutes or so, until the cream has reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
In a separate pan, heat a slick of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, seasoning with salt, and cook a minute or two on each side, until they are just opaque.
To serve, ladle a scoop of corn into bowls and top with the shrimp. Sprinkle with scallions for garnish and eat warm.