This Yankee-turned-Deep-South resident doesn’t need any convincing to eat grits in any form — classic cheese, light-and-crispy waffles, salumi-stuffed arancini? I’m there. But shrimp, well, that’s another story. That is, until I met this version of shrimp and grits inspired by a friend’s visit to The Lady and Sons. Swimming in a creamy pool of highly-seasoned sauce studded with a generous amount of spicy, smokey tasso ham, all served over intensely cheesy grits, it’s nothing short of indulgent. Be prepared to fall in love at first bite.
I’ve wanted to share this recipe for quite some time now, but whenever I sit down to get writing I’ve been at a loss for words. That is, anything beyond DELICIOUS, MAKE THIS NOW and enthusiastic MMMMMMMMS. Of course, the latter may be attributed to the fact that I’ve had a forkful of this tangy, sweet-savory braised pork and cheesy grits goodness in my mouth at pretty much every opportunity since early fall, therefore rendering me incapable of producing more than sound effects. (Only slightly hyperbolic…) But seriously, I can’t keep this one to myself any longer, so here it goes.
We start off with a can of a delightfully balanced, local-to-me hard cider from Cigar City Cider and Mead. If you can’t find it, no worries. Crispin original or your favorite non-spiced variety should do just fine. You can also go completely booze-free with the non-hard stuff or even some unfiltered apple juice (Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section is my fave, and tastes delicious with a splash of bourbon and a few shakes of bitters). Into a saucepan it goes to simmer away by half, concentrating the flavors. Be prepared: Your home will smell amazing.
One of my absolute favorite side dishes growing up was Near East rice pilaf. Ingredient number two, though? Orzo. So that’s out…
Happily, DeLallo produces a whole line of gluten-free pastas, including this classic, tiny shape. Simply sauté a little shallot, toast your rice and orzo, pour a combo of broth and water over top and cook just like regular ol’ steamed rice. And voila, you’ve got homemade pilaf on the table in just about the same time it takes to cook up the stuff from a box!
Are you loaded up with tons of leftover turkey after yesterday’s celebration? Lucky you! When you tire of the usual turkey sandwich, throw together this poultry and power greens risotto for a satisfying, one-pot meal. I make this riff on basic risotto all year long with leftover roasted chicken, so there’s no need to wait until the holiday season to enjoy this dish!
Until a few weeks ago, I thought corn was the only grain in the grits game. Turns out, millet gritsare a thing — and a mighty tasty-yet-more-neutrally-flavored one at that, making them the perfect canvas for the addition of goat cheese and chives. They are a great option for those with corn allergies, or if you’re simply looking to add a little bit more whole-grain variety to your diet. Try this side in place of (or in addition to) mashed potatoes alongside a pork tenderloin, roasted chicken or even your Thanksgiving turkey.