Sammy Hammy’s Low Country
Shrimp N Grits
Sammy Hammy is my friend, and no, that’s not really her name. Her real name is Samantha Hammett, or at least it was when we were kids together and shared a tee-pee back in school. Today, she’s a grown up with a handsome hubby and two adorable kids, but old habits die hard. So I know that she’ll forgive me for still calling her that. Besides, no matter how much time goes by between visits, she knows just how much I luv her.
Sammy and her fammy – oh, sorry… live outside of Atlanta and when I recently went to for a visit, she showed me a thing or two in the kitchen. For as long as I can remember, food and cooking has always been a big part of mine and Sammy’s friendship. We always seem to end up whipping things up together in the kitchen, taking home recipes, writing down ingredients on random pieces of paper, etc. This time was no different, thanks to her smiley Mom, Pat and the empty back of an Atlanta Aquarium program from where we had just spent the day. They have whale sharks – I love whale sharks! Ok, onward.
There was only one problem, we got this great idea for dinner, last minute in the car on the way home, it was kinda impromptu. So I made a last minute mad dash through the supermarket, and forgot the whipping cream. Of course, I didn’t realize it until we were already in the kitchen cooking. We had to think fast, it was late after a long day and there was no way I was schlepping back to the supermarket. So we did what we do best, we winged it.
Sammy speculated that sour cream should do the job just as well since it was basically made from the same stuff, so we subbed it. The results were incredible. Yummmmm! It’s the only way I would make it after that.
Just for the record, Low Country Shrimp and Grits is pretty basic Southern fare. It falls into the yummy comfort food family and now that the weather has become nippy, it’s the perfect time for you to try it. I couldn’t wait till I got home and tried it out for myself. Or should I say, by myself. I ran into a few good lessons.
Timing. First, I found that this was a recipe that flows very smoothly when you have all your ingredients pre-measured and laid out, it goes pretty fast once it gets started.
With the sausage, use either pre-cooked and warm it up alongside the dish or make sure that it has been prepared in advance.
Don’t worry about making too much, the recipe doubles/triples well for a crowd and reheats great in the microwave.
For spicy sausage, I go with either Andouille or Chirizo and Adielle’s is my preferred brand for pre-cooked. When preparing the sausage, pre-cooked or not, cut it up. You want the sausage to be in ¼ - ½ inch discs. Put them in a shallow baking dish in a 475 degree oven and check after 10 minutes.
If it’s pre cooked, that should be all it needs to warm it through and crisp up the edges.
If you are starting with raw, turn the tray around when you check at the 10 minute mark and cook for another 15 minutes. Check until the sausage is cooked through and the edges are crispy. Set the sausage aside.
Now for the shrimp. I’m lazy, buy pre-cooked, pre-cleaned, about 1 lb. A great trick is to run them under cool water in a colander and remove the tails ahead of time. If you grab the tail flat between your thumb and forefinger, it will be easy to remove the tails with just a slight jerk under the running water. If they are tail free – good for you, just make sure to give them a good rinsing before you use them. If you need to stretch the recipe out, cut the shrimps in half.
While Grits are a little unusual, they are available in almost every supermarket in the breakfast cereal section. I like to compare grits to cream of wheat but with a little more texture and normally served salty. For this recipe, you want quick cooking grits, I believe the little Quaker man makes ‘em.
Good comfort food is usually laborious to make, this dish, not so much. In total, once the ingredients are laid out the recipe is about 15 minutes from start to finish. Seriously, how often do you produce a hearty dinner in that amount of time? See why I was so impressed? Just wait until you taste it.
If you’re looking for diet food, this ain’t it. Please, do not try to substitute any of these ingredients for low-fat. Just turn the page and read on about the tide tables. This is stick to your ribs kind of food and it doubles, even triples just fine so it’s great for a crowd. It’s very filling and quite rich, I recommend a salad as a side dish.
Any questions, email me at……….Cook@Iveysinmykitchen.com
Shrimp N Grits
3 Cups Water
1 Cup Quick Cook Grits
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 lb. Shrimp - pre-cooked and peeled
1 lb. Spicy Sausage – pre-cooked and set aside
1 Bunch Chives – chopped up small
¼ Cup Butter
1 Tsp. Crushed Garlic
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
¼ Tsp. Kosher Salt
First, combine the water, butter, sour cream and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the flame to medium, add the grits, stirring slowly.
Let the grits cook for approx 7-8 minutes, until smooth. Then add the garlic, cheese and stir for a minute more. Add the shrimp, sausage and chives. Stir to warm them through Serve immediately garnished with chopped chives and extra cheese.
This dish was so easy to make and my kids loved it, not to mention Michael. It’s not easy to find something everybody will eat, this was a real ringer. Using the sour cream really made it special, then I think of Sam. XOXO
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