Mardi Gras is coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 25 and if you plan on celebrating at home, we’ve rustled up an easy shrimp and grits recipe courtesy of Voodoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen in Tempe.
Sometimes customers shy away from grits, says Voodoo Daddy’s owner, Ron Lynch. “People have a negative feeling about them because their only exposure was at a Waffle House. They just serve bland, white grits,” he says. To that end, Voodoo Daddy’s grits have mascarpone and cheddar cheeses for a more robust flavor.
At the restaurant, Lynch always tells his customers that shrimp and grits are among his favorite dishes and encourages them to order the Cajun and Creole-inspired entree. “Try it and you’ll love it,” he says.
Shrimp and Grits
2 oz. trinity (equal parts onions, celery and bell peppers)
1 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. shallots
1 oz. diced Tasso ham
1 oz. leeks
12 shakes of Cajun spice (Paul Prudhomme blackening seasoning)
Cayenne pepper to taste (typically no more than seven shakes)
3 oz. heavy cream
4 tbsp. butter
Add 4 oz. court bouillon or white cooking wine to a medium sauté pan and cook until the liquid begins to bubble. Add all ingredients except cream and butter and cook for three minutes. Then add 3 oz. heavy cream and 4 tbsp. butter. Stir contents of sauté pan and bring to a boil. Stir until butter is melted.
White Cheddar Cheese Grits
Place pan on stove and add 1 ½ cups of water and 1 ½ tsp. of Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in ½ cup of quick grits. Reduce to medium and stir for five minutes. Grits should become creamy and less al dente. Add 1 tbsp. whole butter and 2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese and allow to melt. Remove from the heat. Whisk in ½ cup white cheddar cheese.
Plate four servings of cheesy grits. Ladle the shrimp mixture in four equal parts over the grits. Add a generous pinch of bacon crumbles to each serving. Garnish with diced green onions.