If you are a regular to the blog you might know that I went to South Carolina a few weeks ago to photograph a wedding in Charleston and get my Southern Cooking fix. I’ve already written about my fast food experiences on this trip (see my post on Bojangles’ fried chicken), but I did get to sample some highbrow South Carolina cooking during the wedding as well at the restaurant Tristan at the French Quarter Inn.
The bride and groom really love food, and their reception seriously had some of the best wedding food I have ever eaten. The highlight of the meal was definitely the Shrimp and Grits, or ‘Prawns and Hominy’ as the restaurant Tristan likes to call it. While those who have never had this dish might think that the combination of shrimp and grits together (pictured above on the right) is weird , trust me on this one – get over it, eat it, it’s delicious and you won’t regret it.
So what are Hominy grits? They are a ground corn product that looks a bit like grainy, often slightly soupy mashed potatoes. Read more in the Wikipedia entry about grits. The version we had was a bit more fancy , as these stone ground hominy grits were a bit chunkier and thicker in consistency, but the idea was the same. While I didn’t make these on my own, the chef did cook these right in front of me so I have a rough idea of how to make them
Ingredients for the Shrimp and Grits (as displayed on a placard at the reception):
- Wild shrimp
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Stone ground hominy grits
- Pan gravy (they used onion, butter, and heavy cream to make this)
From what I observed, these were cooking steps for the shrimp.
- First pan fry the chopped bacon, onions, and sun dried tomatoes together
- Then melt butter in the pan
- Add the shrimp and when they are almost done, mix in heavy cream
- Cook everything for another minute or two
- Finally place the shrimp and gravy on top of the grits. Enjoy!
Maybe you want to try this on your own, but I recommend heading to a local southern restaurant to try it for first if you’ve never had it before!
Photographs courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography