Monday, March 17, 2008

Shrimp and Grits.. or Polenta..

We had an argument about grits vs polenta when we were eating this dish. I think it is interchangeably, especially when you are talking about good stone-ground grits, they are exactly the same as the good stone-ground polenta from the Italian market. I think the difference is that grits are cooked in milk and polenta typically isn't. I suppose our southern friends will weigh in on this. Either way, the last 2 attempts I have had have been met with pretty near failure. It seems I add just a bit too much liquid every time that makes them go from too thick to soupy, usually by adding about 1/2 cup additional liquid. It is a bit disappointing. Oh well. After seeing a No Reservations about South Carolina, I decided to try the East Bay Street Shrimp and Grits from the Lee Bros Southern Cookbook. I did take some liberties: I somehow had peeled/tail on shrimp instead of shell on, so I made the stock with just the tails - seemed to work out fine. And instead of the tomatillos that the Lee Bros call for (doesn't seem really southern but whatever...) I used a big can of whole tomatoes that I crushed with my hands before putting through the food mill. Oh, and I used a dried chile de arbol instead of a fresh jalapeno. I think it added an awesome smokiness to the finished dish. This was (except for the soupy-ness of the grits) a really delicious dish. Maybe next time I will get the grits right... should have used the white instant ones in my pantry maybe, hehe.

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