Bryan Haines, our Executive Chef at Atlantic Shores, recently sat down with WHRO and explained why he loves being a chef. He even shared his very own Shrimp & Grits With a Twist recipe.
One of the benefits of being a chef or culinary professional is the ability to create recipes, as well as to take an existing recipe and make it your own. I find myself always trying to improve a certain recipe by either reinventing it, or just flat out changing the ingredients or method of preparation.
Originating from the low country on the southern coast, ranging from North Carolina to Georgia, Shrimp & Grits is one of those controversial recipes where several regions claim to have the best version. Even a staple in New Orleans cuisine, varieties of Shrimp & Grits have been surfacing on menus across the country as of late.
Recently, I went on a trip to Boston to visit family. It was Super Bowl Sunday, and we set out to eat brunch. Since I was in Boston, I had to have a lobster roll right? Of course I did, well actually two to be exact. My sister-in-law took me to her favorite spot, a restaurant called Row 34. To my surprise, there was Lobster & Grits on the menu. I was surprised to see grits on a menu in Massachusetts, but this proves how a certain recipe can become popular enough to be adapted into a new one.
At Atlantic Shores, we do a version of Shrimp & Grits on one of our restaurant menus. Our version takes cheese grits, which we then bread and deep fry — creating a crispy outside with a creamy, cheesy inside. Then we sauté shrimp in bacon renderings, and finish it with tomatoes, scallions and a little bit of heavy cream. Try our recipe, which serves 4-6.
- Chicken Stock 4 cups
- Heavy Cream 2 cups
- Stone Ground Grits 1 cup
- Butter 2 TBSP
- Cheddar Cheese 8 oz
- Bacon (finely diced) 12 pieces
- Large Shrimp 24 each
- Tomatoes Roma 2 each
- Scallions ½ cup
- Heavy cream 4 oz
- Combine chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to boil.
- Slowly whisk in grits and reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently.
- When smooth and thick, stir in butter and cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper, place on sheet pan to cool.
- Once completely cool, form into square or round cakes, and bread each using standard breading procedure.
- Once breaded, deep fry the grit cake until golden brown.
- Render bacon in a pan.
- Once bacon is rendered, pull out and set aside.
- Sauté the shrimp in the bacon fat.
- Once shrimp are cooked, add tomatoes and scallions.
- Finish with heavy cream, letting sauce reduce a bit.