Oh my dear lord…this is a good dish!
Paula Deen’s Shrimp and Grits (served at her wedding)
When we were visiting Wilmington last summer we stopped at a restaurant called the Water Street Bar and Restaurant. Quaint little place that was actually an old Peanut Factory – its right along the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington. Jim ordered the shrimp and cheese grits and to this day he has said its one of the best things that he has ever had. So tonight we were feeling like having some good seafood so Jim pulled out the good old Paula Deen’s Classics cookbook. For her wedding they served Shrimp and Grits and the recipe for this dish is in the prologue for her book which tells all about her wedding. The dish calls for Tasso Ham, which unfortunately my local Harris Teeter did not carry so we sautéed some ham we had in the fridge and added some creole seasoning. Tasso Ham, we discovered is a Cajun specialty and its very peppery so if you use another ham you need to spice up the rest of the dish.
Let me tell you – this dish was out of the world. I completely understand why Paula chose to have this for her wedding. Its classic southern fare and the flavor is unbeatable. The earthiness of the grits along with the shrimp wine and cream is a taste all its own. Then you sauté the onions and leaks and it really rounds out the dish wonderfully. We also added some extra creole seasoning at the end. Top it off with the green onions and you have a dish suitable for a wedding for a southern legend:-) Okay, so maybe she isn’t a legend, but I do love Paula!
We actually made the cheese grits recipe on the back of the quaker outs can and that went perfectly with the dish. I won’t tell you about the processed cheese that went into the grits!
So if you want a southern dish that was good enough to serve at Paula Deen’s wedding then I would say don’t hesitate for a second in making this dish – and oh yes, it was simple!
- 2 servings cooked grits
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced tasso ham
- 2 tablespoons diced leeks
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 tablespoons diced green peppers
- 20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on
- 1 to 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Green onion tops, chopped
- Cook grits according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tasso and saute until crisp. Add diced vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and saute for 30 to 45 seconds, or until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Slowly add the cream and let reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide grits among 2 serving plates. Line plate edges with shrimp (10 shrimp per serving). Pour sauce over grits. Garnish with green onion tops.
- For a great wedding idea, use martini glasses to serve shrimp and grits, with the grits on the bottom and shrimp and sauce on top.