Have you ever seen a picture of a dish online and you absolutely had to find a way to make it? Well, that is what inspired me to make this outrageously decadent and delicious masterpiece!
One of my coworkers recently had twins and we were all throwing around ideas of what to get for her. After determining that she probably has a TON of baby stuff, we thought it would be nice to get a gift certificate to a nice restaurant for her and her husband. They live in Savannah so I started to search for places online and came across the website for The Olde Pink House and instantly got lost in all of the photos on their Yelp page.
After seeing a few pictures of their version of Shrimp and Grits, the food addict lobe in my brain (there is one of those, right??) was on fire and I convinced myself that I needed this meal... now! Since traveling down to Savannah was not an option, I decided to roll up my sleeves and conquer this on my own!
Now I've never had the original, so I do not have a basis to compare, but I must say that this was CRAZY GOOD! The polenta was super crispy and cheesy. With perfectly cooked shrimp and a creamy and salty ham gravy, this version of shrimp and grits is a true show stopper! I'm not even from the south, but I guarantee you that by the taste of this, you'd never know!
Now.... who's watching Bachelor in Paradise tonight??? Have a great week my friends!
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
canola oil fry polenta
Spray a 9x9 or 8x8 square pan with non-stick spray. In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add polenta and cook over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Once polenta is cooked and soft, add both cheeses and butter.
Spread polenta in prepared pan and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours for it to set and firm up. Remove from fridge and cut into equal triangles or squares. In a medium saute pan, heat 2-4 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat.
Lightly coat the polenta wedges with flour and saute in hot oil until crispy and brown, adding more oil as needed. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain oil. Once all wedges have been fried, place pan in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.
1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt, pepper, and garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coat shrimp in olive oil and lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic. In a small saute pan, cook shrimp until pink and firm. Remove from pan and set in oven to stay warm.
Country Ham Gravy
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 pound ham, diced into small cubes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-4 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper for taste
chives or scallions for garnish
In the same pan used for the shrimp, melt the butter and garlic over medium heat. Add diced ham and cook for 3-4 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add cream and whisk to combine. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened. If sauce gets too thick, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get your desired thickness. Salt and pepper sauce to taste. Remove garlic cloves.
To assemble, plate in this order: spoon ham gravy over the crispy polenta and top with sauteed shrimp and chives or scallions.