RE: Shrimp and Grits a new love
Folks I am here to tell you about a true revelation. There's this cookbook, see, called "The Art of Southern Cooking," by Edna Lewis, the grande dame of Southern Cooking, and her BFF Scott Peacock.
In the very beginning of the book is a recipe called "Shrimp Paste." One takes two sticks of soft butter for every pound of shrimp, sautes the shrimp in a little more than half of one butter stick until pink, don't forget the salt and pepper, and removes the shrimp.
One places the pan over high heat, splashes in a generous slash of sherry, not cooking sherry, I personally use Chinese rice wine since I never have sherry around and they taste remarkably similar in cooking, squeezes in a half lemon, and reduces the liquid until syrupy.
One lets the syrup cool a bit, places the shrimp, the rest of the butter, syrup, a pinch of cayenne, into a food processor, and whizzes it up til mostly smooth.
Aha! One now has the magic in one's hands. One can make lil tea sandwiches with this stuff, drop it into a pan where one has cooked a nice piece of fish, and so on, but the ne plus ultra, the very zenith of this magic substance is to stir a generous amount into a panful of good grits cooked with rich milk or cream.
Oh how one will swoon upon placing this concoction to one's lips. Note there is no cheese around to interfere with the delicate flavors. One will wish to curl one's arm around one's bowl as if one were in prison to fend off any predators lurking about.
If one wished to gild the lily, one could top these grits with more shrimp, sauteed in butter in which one has crisped lil bits of good country ham, not bacon, and softened a goodly portion of scallions. Then one would really be in trouble because one's friends would not rest until one prepared this dish for them again and again. Yipe.
Do not delay, friends, in the cooking of these grits for oneself. Every hour that passes will lie heavy, heavy on one's shoulders.