Recipe by Dan Monroe, executive chef at The Pantry in Fairfield, Conn.
Shrimp and Grit Bites
- Spice grinder
For the garam masala
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons cardamom seeds
- 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
For the grits
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups grits, preferably stone cut, but quick grits optional
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 cup Gruyere, shredded
For the shrimp
- 3 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning
- 12 13/15 size shrimp (cleaned, no shell)
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 1/2 link chorizo, chopped into small squares
- 2 tablespoons butter, if needed
- 4 tablespoons cilantro
Make the Garam Masala
- Toast seeds - cumin, coriander, cardamom, and black peppercorns in a small pan over low heat for 10 minutes or so. You’re looking for a good amount of color. Stir constantly. Once toasted completely, cool completely and then grind in a spice grinder until fine. Mix in cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add salt to taste.
Make the grits
- Using at least a 2 quart pot, melt butter and add onion and garlic and sauté just until translucent and starting to brown. Add in milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and gently whisk in grits. Simmer lightly while continuing to whisking. This will take about 20 minutes to cook stone cut grits fully (be sure heat is low).
- Once grits are thickened, add cheese and check salt.
- Pour the grits into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 7 brownie pan. Make sure grits are even and then let them cool in the fridge.
- Once cool, grit cakes can be cut to desired size, and then placed into hot pan with butter. Searing gently on each side.
Make the shrimp
- Marinate shrimp in seasoning and lemon juice and let sit an hour in fridge.
- In hot pan, add butter (it may smoke some, but that’s ok). Lay shrimp in one at a time, searing on both sides, about 2 minutes each. Shrimp should be firm to touch and be curled.
- Remove shrimp, from pan. If butter is not burnt, you definitely want to use it because there’s a lot of flavor in it. If it is burnt, remove and add new butter.
- Now add in chorizo and onions and cook till chorizo has rendered some of its fat and the onions are translucent. Place in a small container.
- To assemble: Place one shrimp on top of grit cake, and top with the chorizo-onion mixture, and top with cilantro.