Throughout the last several years, we have taken a couple trips to Charleston, SC where we first considered tasting Shrimp & Grits. We always thought it was a waste of a meal out to get shrimp served with GRITS of all things. Shrimp & Grits was found on an unbelievable number of restaurant menus and on our trip to Holden Beach, NC last summer, Mr. LH decided to finally try them. They were so delicious, we regretted not having tried them before (and I regretted not ordering them myself as I watch him polish off his plate).
Ever since then, we have been on the hunt for Shrimp & Grits recipes. We wanted to make it as close as possible to what he ordered that day at Captain Pete's Seafood Restaurant, with wedges of crispy fried grits cakes in a sea of cheesy shrimp sauce. That version also had Tasso ham, which is hard enough to get outside of Louisiana. We have yet to find it here.
Here's a photo of his half eaten Shrimp & Grits from Captain Pete's (the inspiration):
In the last nine months, I have acquired 6 different recipes for Shrimp and Grits (and only one of those had a cheese sauce). I also found one recipe for the crispy fried grits cakes.
This week, I decided to go ahead and try to mix the recipes together to come up with something similar to our memory of Captain Pete's Shrimp & Grits. They turned out delicious! Though extremely time intensive and not appropriate for someone on a strict diet. I would definitely make this again! There is a lot of cheese, cream and fat in this meal, as can be expected in a traditional Southern dish, so I would like to change some things to lessen the fat and calories while keeping the flavor. Instead of the Tasso ham, I used bacon (since EVERY recipe I came across had bacon). I think next time, I'll omit the bacon and use whatever ham I can find.
I wouldn't mind seeing if I could streamline the process, either. I made the grits cake the day before...
...then sliced, coated and fried them right before making the cheese sauce and shrimp/veggie mixture (which I combined right before serving). I poured the grits into my quiche pan because my springform pan, as well as all my round cake pans, are apparently STILL packed in moving boxes.
If you have a helper in the kitchen, this would be a great task to pass off to them :) The egg wash and dredging is too messy and labor intensive for my liking :)
This is NOT a meal for a small budget. With shrimp, bacon or ham and lots of cheese included, this is a meal we'll have once in a while - maybe every 2 or 3 months. That being said, the price sure beats the $22 a plate dish elsewhere!
The kids absolutely loved the grits cakes, though. And since those were reasonably inexpensive (though time consuming), they might become part of our "breakfast for dinner" routine.