Christmas Party, Birdeye (shrimp and grits)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our third Christmas Party was a fun time! I confess that I didn't take many pictures because I was so busy visiting with our fabulous friends who took the time to come to this party. Kara's table was beautiful and we had a great time filling it up with hits like her toffee, grilled bacon-wrapped duck (pic #2 LB Vaught hunted nearby and delivered to Kara), onion dip, rum cake, ham sammies and the like. It's the perfect time of year to have good friends over. We were blessed by our company, that's for sure.

Kara wanted to change our shrimp item on the table this year to Shrimp and Grits. I spent the last two months finding recipes and taste testing them so I'd have the right one. The Maverick Grits was a good choice that I blogged on in November but this one really was the I didn't double it and we had plenty. It's easy to do and I was thrilled that Sara Burrow helped me in my kitchen getting it together before the sitters arrived. I must give her the credit on making this. I love this recipe.

Shrimp and Grits from The Deen Bros., Take it Easy Cookbook it says.

3 C. milk, I used 2%
1/2 t. salt
1-1/2 C. old fashioned grits, I used quick cooking
3 C. grated cheddar

6 T. unsalted butter, I used regular butter
6 T. flour
2 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, I used white, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped, I used 2 heaping tablespoons jarred diced jalapenos, 3 weeks ago I had fresh peppers in the garden, dang!
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 t. salt
pepper to taste
2 C. cream, I did use cream and it was delicious!
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thanks to Jackie for getting this chore done, I used medium shrimp by the way
Tabasco to taste
1/2 C. grated Parmesan, I grated my own instead of the jarred
2 T. chopped fresh parsley for garnish, I didn't have any

To make the grits, combine 4 cups water, milk and the salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and slowly whisk in the grits and reduce heat to medium low. Cover the saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese. Cover and keep warm. (this does seem like a ton of liquid to just a little amount of grits, but it works!)

To make the shrimp, melt the butter in a large skillet, add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is dark and golden about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, 1/2 t. salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes. It took Sara over 10 before the onion was soft.

Slowly whisk in the cream when it's totally incorporated, add the tomatoes and 2/3 cup water and shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp are just opaque, about 5 minutes.

Season the shrimp with the remaining 1 t. salt, pepper and Tabasco. Serve the shrimp over the grits and garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley. (I just added the cheese at the end and skipped the parsley. I kept these pans with the lids on over on Kara's stove then transferred each into chafing dishes. One of which I couldn't keep warm, so under sweet Ashley Boeckmann King's suggestion, I nuked it in the microwave and quickly put back in the chafing dish. Big thanks to Ashley, keeping me thinking outside the box!)

Merry Christmas!

That's Kara's house in the picture, a great house for a great party with our closest friends!

PS. A big thanks to Martin who picked up my dry cleaning for the party. That was HUGE!

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