One of the saddest thing about me is that I am allergic to shrimp. I wasn’t always… there was a time that I could enjoy those little guys by the dozen, but around the time I turned 18 the days of ceviche, gumbo, and scampis became long gone. Shrimp and Grits was something I always loved but thought I would never be able to enjoy again. Luckily, I can still eat lobster (I have champagne taste) and I tried a new twist on the classic that turned out AMAZING!
This recipe is incredibly rich, very comforting, and perfect for an indulgent dinner in. I made this dish with my friend Anne Carlyle, and we searched high and low for the best grits recipe, finally settling on one with tons of Gruyere cheese, bacon, and cream…the trifecta.
We used Byrd Mill stone ground yellow grits, which yields a much thicker more textured consistency, and I definitely suggest you do the same if you try to emulate these grits. Even though I consider myself a pretty serious amateur Chef, I will admit I think I would have a small issue boiling a live lobster. I am not saying I wouldn’t do it, but I am saying I would probably run away and ignore the pot until it was overcooked out of both terror and guilt. However, the stars aligned with our local Fresh Market’s 6-Dollar Saturday’s deal, where they feature a special item for the month for only six bucks. February’s deal was lobster tail, and I was able to procure a neatly lopped crustacean tail, without having to directly commit the murder. My hands are clean!
Other than googling a million different techniques for how to actually remove the lobster meat from the tail, this was a pretty easy recipe that makes a great treat. If you love seafood, bacon, cheese, and grits, then you will likely fall in love with this yummy meal.
5 Strips of Bacon- save pan fat*
1 Cup Grits
1 Cup Grated Gruyere
1-2 Lobster Tails
2 Cups Cream
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Old Bay
Splash of White Wine- if you have an open bottle
Rinse grits in a large bowl and let sit in water until bran rises, about 5 minutes. Boil chicken stock in large pot and stir in grits. Add bacon to a separate pan and cook until done, remove strips, leave fat in pan, and chop bacon into bite size pieces. Once grits begin to thicken and get creamy reduce the heat to medium low, adding more stock if the get too thick add a few splashes of stock as needed. After about 45 minutes you should have the desired consistency, can add cream, cheese, 1/2 the bacon bits, and 1/2 the bacon pan drippings- I know I know, you are on a diet blah blah, but trust me. Just do it. It’s worth it.
Boil water in a large stock pot, and place a strainer, or some sort of vented bowl on top. Place lobster tails in the basin and cover with a top so it can steam cook for 5-8 minutes. The lobster should be bright red when done and placed in a bowl of ice water to cool. In the bacon pan, add onions and garlic to remaining drippings and cook until translucent. Use a pair of scissors, or your favorite lobster shell removal technique to free the meat and chop into generous bite sized portions. Place the lobster and remaining bacon in the pan and with a generous splash of white wine (2-3 Tablespoons) to get some liquid in the mix, and stir in all seasoning so the lobster is completed coated with spices. Once most of the wine has evaporated you can add some butter, squeeze a lemon over the pan, and salt and pepper to taste. Finally place grits in a bowl and top with the lobster medley, adding some fresh parsley on top as garnish.
Do you like Shrimp & Grits?
Do you ever find ways around your allergies to indulge in old favorites?