Monday, April 11, 2011

Shrimp & Grits + Helen, GA!



***A few weeks ago, Brad and I got the chance to get away for a quick weekend trip to Helen, GA.  We kept hearing about this unique little town modeled after an Alpine village, and we were curious about what the German town had to offer.  I was especially curious about how much it would remind me of our actual trip to Germany.

I have to say that I wasn't disappointed.  We had a fabulous time meandering around the village, eating German food, hiking the local trails, and even got dressed up in traditional German clothing!


Fortunately, we had the pleasure of dining at the Nacoochee Grill while we were there.  It was honestly one of the best restaurant meals that I've had in a very long time.  It offered the very best in fine gourmet dining, but at a surprisingly affordable price.  For an appetizer, we began our meal with perfectly prepared eggrolls filled with marinated steak.  They came arranged in a pretty row on a white platter....I wish I had taken photos!  For my entree, I had the marinated, grilled shrimp with mango salsa, which was heaven on a plate!  Brad ordered the Shrimp & Grits, which turned out to be simply incredible!  

The Shrimp & Grits were made using White-Speckled Stone Ground White Grits, which were made nearby at the Nora Mill Granary.   I was able to get my hands on a bag of these fine grits at a store in town (you can buy them on their website!), along with a bag of their "Grandma's Biscuit & Pancake Mix."  These two purchases were among my favorite souvenirs!  



Wow...These grits are truly something special.  Now, some of you may be thinking, "What in the heck are GRITS?!?"  My fellow Southerners know just what I'm talking about.  ;-)  Here's a LINK for those of you that haven't heard of this famous Southern delicacy!  

As soon as I had the chance, I made Shrimp & Grits once we got back home.  This recipe from Paula Deen was so good, that I've made it twice already!  


Bon Appetit!

Shrimp and Grits Recipe
Source:  Paula Deen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

Directions

1. To make the shrimp and grits recipe, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve. 

2. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the skillet and saute over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Immediately add the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, and garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat. 

3. Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with the bacon bits. 

Note: If you are serving this as an appetizer, spoon 1/4 cup grits onto a bread or salad plate. Top with 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture. Garnish with a sprinkling of crisp bacon bits and serve immediately.


4 comments:

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Those look like wonderful grits... just enough 'grit' to add some texture.
Helen is fun a lot of fun ~Germany it isn't :-)

Half Baked said...

Mmm your grits look delicious! Helen GA looks like a fun place to visit!

Christen Price said...

Hey friend!

This post took me back to when we went to Helen two years ago! We ate at the same restaurant and went to the place where you got the grits. So much fun! Hope you are doing great!!!!!!!!!

eatdrinkbemerryblog said...

This version of shrimp and grits sounds wonderful! They're always so creamy, comforting, and satisfying! I make a shrimp and grits recipe that is very similar to this but I add a sauce to mine.