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.
While your D.I.Y pickled jalapeño add a nice amount of pizzaz to a quick plate of melted cheese-topped tortilla chips, when the mood for loaded nachos strikes, there’s pretty much nothing better than a homemade, gluten-free take on Chili’s Classic Nachos.
Thicker cut tortilla chips are topped with beans, then queso con chorizo followed by more cheese and finally — after they’re popped in the oven to get all piping hot and melty — a pickled jalapeño slice is arranged atop each chip. Served with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream for dipping, this recipe is the epitome of hearty, football season fare.
Every once in a while, I love to play around with the classic No-knead bread recipe — adding bits of this and that, switching out the flours, playing around with the amount of yeast, etc. As finicky as some gluten-free breads can be, this one is surprisingly adaptable … within reason. This time around, I was inspired by the white cheddar-garlic loaf loaf from Great Harvest, and armed with a jarful of garlic confit I was already half way there.
I feel like everyone has their own way to doctor up boxed mac and cheese, but my secret to a better experience doesn’t require any additional ingredients, it’s quite simple really: use only about two thirds of the pasta. But what to do with the resulting stockpile of leftover, uncooked shells? That’s where this recipe comes in.