The Waterfront Restaurant took the classic shrimp and grits dish to an elevated level at Forks & Corks 2016. It was an inventive twist, both aesthetically and flavor-wise, and it left patrons craving more.
“One thing that makes our shrimp and grits special is the presentation. We skewer the shrimp and sausage we grill, right into the grits cake, and it stands up nice and tall,” says executive chef Justin Hibberts. “Most of the time, you have a creamy bowl of grits, and pork and shrimp, with the pan jus. We take the pan jus and expand it into a cream sauce. We cool the grits into little cakes, coat them with batter and fry them, and then pour the creamy sauce over the grits. The dish went over very well in January.”
SHRIMP AND GRITS
Ingredients for the sauce:
2 large red bell peppers, fire-roasted and diced small
12 ounces Chardonnay
3 lemons, juiced
16 ounces chicken stock
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan
In a saucepan, add the peppers, wine, lemon juice and chicken stock. Reduce to al sec, add the cream and then reduce by half. Whisk in the Parmesan as the cream is cooling, until it is melted and viscous.
Ingredients for the grits cake:
1 cup milk
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/3 cups grits
2 ounces butter
8 tablespoons hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine the stock and milk in a sauce pot, bring it to a simmer and whisk the grits into the stock (for 5 minutes until the grits bloom). Turn off the heat, and whisk in the butter and hot sauce. Pour the grits into a greased 9-inch-by-7-inch pan, and refrigerate to cool and set. Cut the grits into 2-inch squares and dredge with Drake’s Crispy Fry Mix. Go from the dry mix to the egg wash and back to the dry mix. Drop the cakes into a 350-degree deep fryer until they are golden brown (about 5 minutes). Char-grill some cooked shrimp and Andouille sausage slices on skewers. Present a skewer with a grits cake, drizzle with the sauce and serve.
The Waterfront Restaurant | 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria | 941-778-1515 | thewaterfrontrestaurant.net.
Author: Abby Weingarten