Pairing Challenge

Winner Winner Shrimp and Grits Dinner + Recipe

Grits. They’re not just for breakfast anymore. They’re actually a staple on the Southern dinner table as well. Many BBQ restaurants serve sides of cheddar grits. I have eaten grilled salmon served over maple grits at a five star seafood restaurant. But the most famous dinner with grits is shrimp and grits. It’s one of my favorite dishes, and I was very excited when The Wandering Sheppard chose it for this month’s pairing challenge.

Grits - A Staple in Any Respectable Southern Household

Grits – A Staple in Any Respectable Southern Household

We had five solid entries. What shocked me most was that only one suggestion was a beer – Stone’s Go To IPA from Bryan at This is Why I’m Drunk. Three pairings were varieties of white wines and one was (and I still can’t believe I allowed this one in the competition as it was clearly outside the rules of beer or wine) a cider by Stella Artosis.

This months vote was a nail biter.  Only one vote separated first and second place.  Wander and Wine landed in the close second place spot.  The Shrimp and Grits honor goes to the cider as suggested by Megs at If It Falls on the Floor.  Congrats! Look for her pairing challenge here at The Wandering Gourmand the first week of May!

And now, a recipe! I realize I am a Yankee living in a strange land in Charlotte, but my Southern friends all dub my shrimp and grits recipe as the best they have ever eaten. I mean, who couldn’t like this recipe – bacon, mushrooms, cheese, and shrimp?

Each month The Wandering Gourmand hosts a new Beer Versus Wine Challenge.  Some even include prizes!  Find out when each challenge begins by signing up for our newsletter!

Shrimp and Grits at the Gourmands

Shrimp and Grits at the Gourmands

The Shrimp

• 1 pound of shrimp
• 1 bell pepper cut into bite size pieces
• Half a package of bacon chopped into quarter inch pieces
• Package of Portobello mushrooms sliced (or fancier mushrooms if you prefer)
• 1 jalapeno diced
• I onion cut into larger bite size pieces
• 1 garlic clove diced
• Quarter pound of okra cut into bite size pieces (if available)
• 1 cup of water
• 1 tbsp of Better Than Bouillon mushroom stock (essential)
• 1.5 tbsp of flour

• Fry up the bacon in 2 tbsp of olive oil
• Remove the bacon from the pan once crisp
• Add all the vegetables and cook until they are translucent
• Dissolve bouillon in water
• Whisk in flour to veggies and create a roux.
• Add water mixture and cook until it starts to thicken simmering a minute or two
• Add the shrimp and cook until pink
• Serve immediately over the girts so the shrimp doesn’t overcook and become rubbery.

The Grits

• 4 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup stone ground grits
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 cups cheddar cheese

• Boil chicken stock in a large sauce pan
• Add grits
• Cook stirring occasionally until stock is absorbed and grits are cooked through – about 20 minutes
• Add cheese and cream and mix well