Monday, September 05, 2005
Paper Chef #10 - Is My Blog Burning Launch
Shrimp 'n' Grits
It's time for the Paper Chef Blog Event, and this month we are honoring New Orleans, home of some of the finest food in the country. In addition, we are celebrating the launch of the Is My Blog Burning? web site, a sort of clearinghouse for food blog events and news.
We were given four ingredients and challenged to come up with a dish that would do the Crescent City proud: shrimp, beer, tomato and sausage. The idea was to have a dinner party at home, and donate what we might have spent going out to eat to the Red Cross, or other relief effort, to assist in the disaster recovery.
Anyone who has ever eaten in New Orleans cannot fail to be impressed by the professionalism of their restaurant and hotel service staff, from the waiters at the finest restaurants right down to the bartender at a run-down looking neighborhood beer joint. In their honor, I will be forwarding my check to the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund, spearheaded by the Brennan Family of Commander's Palace.
On Sunday, I gathered a group of friends, and several pitched in to help prepare this dish. I used andouille, a spicy smoked sausage, pretty much native to Louisiana. If you can't find that, use any spicy smoked sausage. We used green tomatoes, so beloved in the South.
We used a dark beer, Warsteiner Dunkel; with its rich smooth flavor it gave a great boost to the dish. I really liked the dipping sauce for the asparagus we made on Friday, so I used it again to drizzle over the finished dish.
The directions may look long but the whole dish can be completed in about 20 minutes...so have a dinner in, invite your friends, and pass along your savings to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief as well!
Shrimp 'n' Grits Katrina
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dark beer
3 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (stripped from the stems) or 1 tsp dried
8 oz andouille sausage, sliced about 1/3" thick
olive oil as needed
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green tomato, cored and cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1-1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
the rest of the bottle of beer (1 cup)
Salt and pepper
2 cups stoneground grits
4 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Mix all ingredients for the finishing drizzle together and set aside for flavors to mellow.
In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, sautŽ the sausage until lightly browned. If it doesnŐt give off a film of fat, add a little olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and stir a couple of times. Add the onion and cook until the onion starts to soften, stirring frequently. Add the green tomato and continue to cook until the onion is tender and just starting to brown. Remove to a bowl and reserve.
Add the 1 cup beer to the skillet, bring to a simmer and stir, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink, 3-4 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the sausage mixture. Raise the heat and boil the beer until reduced to about ? cup.
When the grits are done, return the sausage-shrimp mixture to the pan and toss to just heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, for the grits, bring the water and salt to a full rolling boil. Add the grits in a stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the cream. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Put the grits in the middle of a large serving platter. Top with the shrimp mixture, drizzle on the finishing sauce and dig in! Serves 6.