The Weekend Gourmet: #SundaySupper Comfort Food with Lee Woodruff...Featuring Down-Home Comforting Shrimp and Grits F

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#SundaySupper Comfort Food with Lee Woodruff...Featuring Down-Home Comforting Shrimp and Grits

The theme for this week's #SundaySupper is Comfort Food, and we're being joined by a very special guest: Lee Woodruff. Lee is an author, TV contributor..and a fellow food lover. She has a food blog called ...Food for Thought, so go check it out! Comfort food has different meanings, depending on who you ask. For some people, it means food that warms you up on a cool Fall evening. For others, it's a food that reminds them of their childhood or their heritage. Some of my favorite comfort foods are gumbo, my Mom's mashed potatoes, and my Grandma Wofford's Thanksgiving cornbread dressing. One bite of these foods, and I feel like I'm wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket. Ironically? The recipe I'm sharing today isn't one that I grew up eating...but have learned to love as an adult: grits. Not just any grits, mind you, but Down-Home Comforting Shrimp and Grits! 

This dish combines creamy, cheesy corn grits with spicy shrimp. This is southern comfort at its best...trust me, y'all!! My favorite grits in the world are from Zea's restaurant. They're rich and creamy...and studded with nutty roasted corn kernels. Since the nearest Zea's is in Louisiana, I was THRILLED to find the recipe for these amazing grits on their website! The only tweaks I made to their recipe were to use half-and-half in place of heavy cream, roast the corn kernels in bacon fat (don't hate...this is COMFORT food, people!), and a bit of shredded co-jack cheese to the grits just before serving. The shrimp mixture is my own concoction...it's spicy from a generous amount of Cajun seasoning blend, but the heat is tempered by adding a small amount of cream to the sauce. If all this fat is making you feel guilty, do what I do: thoroughly enjoy a moderate portion...and then pencil in a salad for dinner tomorrow night! Moderation in all things...yes?

Down-Home Comforting Shrimp and Grits
Grits adapted from Zea's Restaurant

Step 1: Cook two slices of bacon in a large skillet, crumble and set aside. Remove all but 1 tbs. of the bacon fat from the pan. Turn the heat to med-high and add 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels. Cook until the liquid cooks off and the kernels begin to toast and turn golden. This will take about 8 minutes...give it a stir about halfway through so it can brown on all sides.


Step 2: Add 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups half and half to a large saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil and add the roasted corn kernels. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, then reduce heat to med-low. Cook for 10 minutes, giving it a whisk every couple of minutes to keep it from sticking on bottom. When the grits are cooked and thickened, add 2 tbs. softened  butter and 3/4 cup shredded co-jack cheese. Whisk well to completely incorporate the cheese and butter. Set aside while you prepare the shrimp.


Step 3: Add 2 tbs. butter to a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add one diced shallot and two sliced green onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add 1 lb. medium shrimp and 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and sear the shrimp on each side until cooked -- about 3-4 minutes total. Add the reserved bacon and 1/3 cup heavy cream and stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.



Step 4: To serve, spoon some of the grits into a shallow bowl. Top with a generous serving of the shrimp and sprinkle with more chopped green onion. You should get at least four servings, with plenty of grits leftover for breakfast the next morning. 



Mercy, is this dish flavorful...it's true southern comfort food! Creamy, cheesy grits topped with spicy bacon-studded shrimp. The cream gives it a touch of richness, and the Cajun seasoning gives it a little bit of heat. I especially love the sweet, slightly nutty kernels of corn in the grits! Put it all together, and you've got a fabulous and comforting meal. I hope you'll give this one a try very soon.

Make sure to join us for our weekly Twitter chat this evening at 600 CST. We'll be joined by Lee Woodruff, so it's guaranteed to be a good time...come share some of your favorite comfort food memories with us. In the meantime, take a peek at all the wonderful comfort foods that the rest of the #SundaySupper bunch is featuring today...it's such a wide variety of goodies!
Comfort Food |Soups
Comfort Food  | Main Dish
Comfort Food | Desserts
Pairing Wine with Sunday Supper Comfort Food Favorites! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog 

65 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorites. This makes a great Lent recipe. I love how you made the grits!

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    1. The grits from Zea's are the best ever...so it's nice to be able to re-create them at home! The leftovers reheated perfectl for breakfast this morning...sprinkled a little more cheese on top and nuked for about 1.5 minutes.

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  2. You must be reading my mind. There was a chill in the air the other day and I immediately thought of a big helping of shrimp and grits. Love it.

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    1. I had never tasted shrimp and grits before as it's more of a southeastern thing than a Texas thing. But? As an adult, I'm hooked on savory grits!

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  3. This looks really great! Up here in Michigan, we don't eat many grits, in fact I think I have eaten them maybe twice in my entire life - both times in Tennessee!

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    1. When they're made with yellow cornmeal, it's more like polenta...in the south, you see white grits much more often. I make both, but love the earthiness of the yellow cornmeal.

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  4. I AM obsessed with grits now. Esp. with cheese. Looks amazing!!

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    1. They can be kind of boring if you boil them in water...but add some cream, stock, and cheese? Then you've got yourself a winner!!

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  5. I've always wanted to make Grits!!!! Great pics too! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Don't be afraid...they're the southern cousin of polenta!

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  6. Pinning. Adding to the menu this week! :D

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    1. Let me know how you like them! Michael ate his last night and asked for more...that's always a good sign!

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  7. Yum, Shrimp and Grits. I'll take an extra large serving, please! Looks delicious!

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    1. The flavors work really nicely here...the bacon sort of ties it all together. Of course, shallots never hurt either!

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  8. My husband would go crazy for this recipe! Anything involving shrimp is right up his alley. Yum yum yum!

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    1. Mine too...we eat shrimp at least twice a month, more in summer.

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  9. I have been wanting to try Shrimp and Grits and I think this is the perfect recipe!

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    1. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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  10. That looks so good. Being a northern gal we don't see grits ever. I will have to try this!!

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    1. Embrace the grits...these are so creamy, and the corn gives them a nice texture!

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  11. Your step-by-step pics make this impossible to resist. All great flavors combined!

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    1. Even the cat was begging for a bite, and she is never interested in "people food"!

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  12. Can I just say this looks so good, I've already been forwarding this recipe to friends this morning!

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    1. Thanks so much...it's really not that complicated. While the grits are simmering, you have a pocket of time to whip up the shrimp. I buy pre-peeled shrimp and chop all my veggies before I start coking. That way, it all comes together pretty quickly...45-ish minutes start to end?

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  13. Whoa! This looks sooo good Wendy! I'll have to be trying some of these great Southern Comfort Foods!

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    1. Can you believe this Texas gal has never once fried chicken at home? To me, that's the ultimate southern comfort food, but it's so messy! I have Thomas Keller's ad hoc fried chicken recipe on my bucket list, and I WILL feature it for #SundaySupper at some point. I might get kicked out of Texas over this non-frying thing!

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  14. OMG!!!! Shrimp and grits?!!! What?! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! thanks for sharing. . this truly looks amazing!

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    1. I've already been asked when I'm going to make it again...so think it was a hit with my other half!

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  15. This looks so, so delicious! Wow! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I sure could go for some Oregon salmon right about now...I had some of the best salmon of my life at Portland City Grill this Summer! I love your city and can't wait for a return visit!!!

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    2. We sure have fantastic salmon here in PDX :) I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Portland :)

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  16. I have never had shrimp and grits, but you have me craving some. Your dish looks so good, and I can't wait to make it. Pinned!

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    1. Grits are pretty standard stuff down here, but I didn't grow up eating them for some reason. I make cheese grits in lieu of mashed potatoes for a side dish quite often...so good with roasted pork tenderloin!

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  17. Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite dishes! We have so many restaurants nearby with amazing versions of it, I rarely make it at home. But the tourist season is winding down and the restaurants will be closing soon. I'll keep your recipe in mind when I'm craving shrimp & grits this winter!

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    1. These are the best grits I've ever eaten, so I needed to figure out how to make them at home since I don't get to Louisiana all that often!

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  18. I agree that this is comforting and I too learned that as an adult. My favorite are Emeril's from NOLA in New Orleans. I like that he adds Andouille Sausage. I recently made a revised version using Rosemary skewered shrimp and I loved it. http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/rosemary-grapes-and-shrimp-with-loaded-grits-in-chili-garlic-oil/ See you at the table in a while! Today's guest sounds really great.

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    1. Yes...Emeril can do no wrong in my book! I can't wait to check out your recipe!

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  19. I love shrimp and I love grits, but I've never had them together, although I've thought of someday making it. I'm excited to see your post because this is the inspiration I need to finally make it! Looks so good.

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    1. Once you try it, you'll be hooked! It's fabulous...can't go wrong with bacon, shallots, and cheesy corn grits!

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  20. Love this recipe. Love shrimp and grits. Love love love. I come from a South Carolina family and grew up on this dish yet I have never made it at home. I may give this a try this week! Beautiful photos.

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    1. I can't vouch that it's authentic South Carolina s & g...I've seen recipes that include mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. Have you had them that way?

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  21. Um. That dish looks so good, it makes me want to cry. Seriously, it hurts. I know I'll have to make it soon or I'll never get it outta my head!!

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    1. They are pretty addictive...Michael is already angling for me to make them again!

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  22. Okay...are you ready for this?

    I've never had grits. I know right. I need to try this. Minus the shrimp cuz mini-me is allergic. I'm sure I can sub in something else though. I need to cross grits off my foodie bucket list. Looks super fab. The photo of the cheese tossed in the pan just about did me in. And the bacon is the perfect. Love bacon.

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    1. These grits are fabulous on their own as a side dish...with seared pork tenderloin or fried chicken!

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  23. Oh, this is perfect comfort food. Love the cheese in with the grits, and of course bacon helps!

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  24. I've never had shrimp and grits, however, I love them both so...you have convinced me to add them to the menu! You rock!

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  25. Oh, boy, does this look terrific! I never thought I'd like shrimp and grits till today....your photos have changed my mind! I want some and soon!!!!

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  26. Oh my! Every picture has me wanting this more and more! It looks amazing!! :)

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  27. We don't eat grits here much in CA, I don't know why they look so darn good. Can't wait to see you this weekend.
    -Gina-

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  28. I have never liked grits but I think I might have just found the recipe that might win me over.

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  29. As a Northern girl, I have always been courious of grits. This will be the first grits recipe I will try. Looks so good!!!!!

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  30. I have never had grits like this before, I have really only had them once. This definitely looks like a comforting meal!!

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  31. I grew up with grits as a kid and did not love them, but I totally fell in love with them a couple of years ago when one of my favorite local restaurants added shrimp and grits to their menu. I love your recipe and all the photos!!

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  32. I love shrimp and I like grits but I have never tried them together.

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  33. This looks fabulous! Gotta try!

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  34. Holy crap. I give you the award for the #SS dish that made my mouth water the most (and, as a note, I started at the beginning of the list and then went to the end of the list so you are actually the last recipe I'm viewing!)

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  35. Whoa...this looks and sounds soooooo gooooood! I've seen this dish so many times on cooking shows and now here it is. Come to think of it, I have all the ingredients so this may be DINNER for me tomorrow night! :-) Thanks for sharing.

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  36. My Lord this looks great! I've only had Shrimp and Grits in a restaurant or two, but this looks manageable!

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  37. This looks like it is right up my husband's alley. He loves shrimp!

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  38. Wendy, I have to be honest with you. I'm not a grits lover. I tried it once and didn't care for it. But you may have made a convert out of me. I'm going to have to give it another shot because this dish just simply looks amazing!

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  39. One of my husband's favorite meals!

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  40. Would never have thought of this combo, but it looks amazing and like all your pics I love this one too :)

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  41. I've never had shrimp and grits - this looks so delicious!

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