Annually, we treat ourselves to Southern shrimp and grits over Easter weekend. This year, I served the special dish using purple “unicorn” grits from Millers All Day in Charleston, South Carolina. Festive!
This version was topped with a spicy and garlicky roasted poblano-jalapeño sauce which had a terrific balance with the rich, cheesy grits. The shrimp was also cooked in garlic oil. It was a great variation to try for the garlic and sauce lovers in my house. 🙂 The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Marc Meyer. I modified the method and proportions.
Yield: Serves 4
4 cups water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup stone-ground white grits (I used stone-ground unicorn grits)
2 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 jalapeño chile
1 poblano chile
5 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1/2 an orange)
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp, patted dry (I used 21-25 count per pound)
Place oven rack in the highest position and set to broil. Place the jalapeño and poblano chiles on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until blackened all over, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove from the oven and wrap in the foil. Allow to steam and cool for 10 minutes, then rub off the skins. Stem and seed the chiles.
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil with a pinch of salt. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Whisk in the grits and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the grits are tender and very thick, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the milk, cheese, and butter. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I used about 1/2 tsp salt.) Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then keep warm.
In a small skillet, cook the garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is softened and very lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a blender. Add the chiles and the orange juice and puree until smooth. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and puree until creamy. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. (I used a Vitamix.)
Pat the shrimp dry and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of garlic oil. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a very large skillet until very hot, about 2 minutes.
Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned and just cooked through, about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
To serve, spoon the grits into bowls and top with sauce and shrimp. Serve additional sauce at the table.
1 T fresh lime juice, plus more to taste (from 1/2 lime)
1/2tsp fine sea salt, plus more as needed
pinch of granulated sugar
4ounces bacon (4 slices), diced
1 1/2cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 2 ears if fresh)
2 T chopped pickled jalapeño, plus more slices for topping (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Green Chilies)
1cup heavy cream
1/2cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
3/4cup coarsely shredded sharp Cheddar (3 ounces)
3 T chopped parsley
To Prepare the Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, or in a large bowl, pulse or mix together flour(s), cornmeal and salt until combined.
Add butter, and either pulse or use your finger to smoosh it in until butter is the size of lima beans.
Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse or mix just until dough comes together. There should still be large flecks of butter left in dough.
Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. (At this point, I placed the disk in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.)
Between 2 layers of plastic wrap, or on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle.
Transfer dough to a 9-inch deep pie plate; trim and crimp edges. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before baking. (Dough can be made up to 5 days ahead.)(I made the dough the night before.)
To Make the Filling and Finish the Pie:
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
Place the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove foil or paper and pie weights or beans. Bake until pale golden and dry to the touch, about 4 to 7 minutes more.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
While crust is chilling and baking, prepare the filling: Cut red onion in half across the equator (not root to stem), then from the center, cut out two very thin, round slices. Separate onion slices into rings and put them in a bowl with lime juice and a pinch each of salt and sugar. Set aside while you assemble the rest of the tart. (I used half-moons because I used 1/2 of a red onion.)
Coarsely chop remaining onion and set aside. (I used half-moons in the filling as well.)
Scatter diced bacon in a cold 12-inch skillet. (I used a cast iron skillet.) Turn heat to medium, and cook until the bacon is golden and the fat has rendered, 8 to 14 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Leave fat in the skillet.
Stir chopped onion into pan with bacon fat and place over medium heat. Sauté until golden-edged and translucent, about 6 minutes.
Stir in corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt and chopped pickled jalapeño. Cook until corn is tender, 2 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and scoop 1/2 cup corn mixture into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
Add cream, sour cream and eggs. Blend until you get a purée.
Using a spatula, scrape corn purée back in pan with whole corn kernels.
Stir in 1/2 cup Cheddar, the parsley and the cooked bacon.
Scrape mixture into the baked pie shell.
Top filling mixture with pickled red onion slices and jalapeño slices. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar.
Cover the edge of the pie crust to prevent over-browning.
Bake until puffed, golden and just set, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Making these savory cookies was more of a risky endeavor than trying a new type of soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day. I was happy with the results! They were flaky, cheesy, and biscuit-like. Lovely served as an appetizer with a glass of wine or beer.
A friend commented that they shouldn’t be called “cookies.” I absolutely agree, but it’s hard to argue with Dorie Greenspan. I’m also not sure what to call them instead. They were too cookie-like to call them crackers and too cookie-like to call them biscuits… too savory to be “cookies” though!
This recipe was adapted from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. I refroze the cut shapes prior to baking. I weighed all of the ingredients and the texture was perfect. The shape could be adapted for any holiday or cut into simple circles for any occasion. Nice!
Yield: about 22 shamrock cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick; 4 oz; 113 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 ounces (113 g; about 3/4 cup) smoked Gouda cheese, cut into tiny cubes
Combine cold butter, Gouda, cheddar, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a food processor; pulse until butter is in bits and the mixture forms small curds.
Add flour; pulse until dough looks moist and forms large popcorn-sized curds.
Turn dough out onto a flat surface; knead gently just until it comes together and you can shape it into a ball. Divide into 2 pieces. Pat each piece into a disk.
Place 1 disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Repeat with second disk.
Stack sheets of dough on a baking sheet. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. (I froze the dough overnight.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), preferably on convection.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Peel parchment paper/plastic wrap off 1 sheet of frozen dough. Cut into cookies using a 1 1/2-inch-diameter cutter, or cookie cutter of choice (my shamrock cookie cutter was larger). Stack the cut shapes with plastic wrap between each. Refreeze for 15 minutes prior to baking.
Arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second sheet of dough.
Bake cookies in the preheated oven until lightly golden on the bottom, about 15 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cookies are done when bottoms are golden brown and tops are lightly golden.
Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Gather dough scraps, roll to a thickness of 1/4-inch, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut into cookies, refreeze cut shapes, and bake on a cooled baking sheet.
Note: The rolled-out dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; cut and bake directly from the freezer.
The baked cookies can be kept in a covered container for about 4 days at room temperature, or wrapped airtight for up to 2 months in the freezer.
I have received an exorbitant amount of Swiss chard in my CSA box so far this season. It’s a good thing that I absolutely love it! and… Who doesn’t love chard when it’s combined with fabulous cheese?!?!
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Gabriela Camara. I have made these quesadillas a couple of times with my CSA greens, using both raw milk extra (extra) sharp yellow cheddar (from Trader Joe’s) as well as Cabot extra sharp 3-year aged white cheddar. I have also used combination of greens including Swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, as well as baby bok choy.
I adapted the recipe by increasing the garlic as well as using a red onion, whole wheat flour tortillas, and chipotle salsa, avocados, fresh lime, and sour cream, for serving. I also microwaved the assembled quesadillas for a quick dinner! We ate them with refried beans on the side. Delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 for dinner or up to 8 as an appetizer
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
½ medium white or red onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
10 ounces Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, or a combination of greens including beet, turnip, or bok choy, chopped
This is the most indulgent, rich, super creamy, super cheesy macaroni and cheese ever. So much so that I could only bring myself to make one half of the original recipe. It was more than enough- especially because we ate it as a side dish! It would also be a wonderful main dish with a huge green salad. (Half of the original recipe would still easily serve at least 4 people as a main dish.)
This recipe was adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics, via Smitten Kitchen. HBD Mr. Brookcook! ❤
Yield: Serves 10+ as a side dish or 4+ as a main dish
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
3 to 4 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn or cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces (I used Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane)
1/2 pound short pasta such as campanelle or elbow macaroni
Preheat oven to 375°F on convection. Butter an 8×8-inch (or equivalent), 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. (I sprayed my dish with cooking oil spray instead.)
Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Add the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (I warmed it in the microwave instead -one less pot to clean!) Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cups Gruyère; set the cheese sauce aside.
Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Gruyère on top. Sprinkle the reserved breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the grated cheeses.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes on convection (or up to 30+ minutes in a standard oven). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.
Also- an update!
No ducklings yet… I guess we’ll have to welcome the goslings for now… 🙂
We eat Southern Shrimp and Grits every year on Easter- it reminds us of our time in the beautiful sunshine while we lived in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s such a flavorful dish that isn’t popular here in New York. This year we branched out and ate this dish on Easter Eve… such a break from tradition. Still wonderful! 🙂
The fresh corn in this version puts it over the top. SO good. The grated corn in the grits makes them thicker and the sautéed kernels sprinkled over the top provide wonderful texture. This recipe is from Bon Appetit, contributed by Dawn Perry. I added more fresh corn and garlic to the topping as well as sharp cheddar-gruyere melange cheese to the grits. Festive & Amazing!
Yield: Serves 6
5 (small) ears of corn, husked
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup grits (not instant)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used a sharp cheddar-gruyere blend), optional, to taste
5 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
½ to 3/4 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or ½ to 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
chopped fresh chives, for serving
Grate 3 ears of corn on the large holes of a box grater over a medium bowl, catching as much juice as possible; set aside. Cut kernels from remaining 2 ears of corn into another medium bowl; set aside.
Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer, whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20–25 minutes. Mix in butter, cheese (if using), and reserved grated corn; season with salt and pepper.
Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, oregano, and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with chives.
Without knowing that I was repeating myself, I found myself saving this recipe in multiple places… a clipping from the paper, on my phone, on the computer… It was so (repeatedly) appealing to me! 🙂 I moved it to the top of my list.
This healthy chili has wonderful texture from dried pinto beans and contrasting sweet and creamy butternut squash. The use of dried beans requires extra planning but is completely worth the textural benefit in the final dish. It was mildly spicy (perfect for all palates in my house!) and tasty. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman. We ate it garnished with a blend of grated Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar cheeses… mmmm…. with green salad and Brown Butter Skillet Cornbread on the side. Great!
For the Simmered Pintos:
Yield: Serves 6
1 pound (about 2 1/4 cups) pinto beans, washed and picked over for stones, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight in 2 quarts water
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 to 4 large garlic cloves (to taste), minced
1 bay leaf
coarse salt, to taste (at least 1 teaspoon per quart of water used)
Place pre-soaked beans and (2 quarts) of soaking water in a large, heavy pot. Add halved onion and bring to a gentle boil.
Skim off any foam that rises, then add garlic and bay leaf, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add salt and continue to simmer another 1 1/2 hours, until beans are quite soft and broth is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust salt. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove and discard onion and bay leaf.
For the best flavor refrigerate overnight.
Advance preparation: The cooked beans will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and freeze well.
For the Chili:
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
1 recipe simmered pintos (recipe above)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut in small dice
1 red pepper, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons mild ground chili (or to taste: use hot, or use more) (I used standard chili powder)
2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
2 cups diced winter squash (about 3/4 pound) (I used butternut)
coarse salt, to taste
½ cup chopped cilantro
grated cheddar or Monterey Jack, or crumbled queso fresco for garnish, optional (I used a blend of cheddar & Monterey Jack)
Heat the beans (simmered pintos) on top of the stove in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy nonstick skillet and add the onion, carrot and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to color, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, stir together until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add the ground chili and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture begins to stick to the pan.
Add the tomatoes and oregano, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is beginning to stick to the pan, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste dissolved in water and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt to taste and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and fragrant.
Stir the tomato mixture into the beans. Add the winter squash and bring to a simmer.
Simmer, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes. It is important to stir often so that the chili doesn’t settle and stick to the bottom of the pot. It should be thick; if you desire you can thin out with water. Taste and adjust salt.
Shortly before serving stir in the cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls. If you wish, top with grated cheeses.
Advance preparation: The simmered beans can be made 3 or 4 days ahead and the chili will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. You will probably want to thin it out with water is it will continue to thicken. It freezes well.