“Barbecued” shrimp are a favorite southern dish, so-named even though the ingredients never touch a grill. In this version, fresh shrimp are bathed in a tangy mixture of beer and Worcestershire sauce and served over creamy grits for a uniquely New Orleans breakfast.
New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp & Grits
For the grits:
1 1/3 cups (8 oz./250 g.) stone-ground white corn grits (not quick-cooking)
1 1/3 cups (11 fl. oz./330 ml.) whole milk
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
For the BBQ shrimp:
1 1/2 lb. (750 g.) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) dark beer, preferably Abita
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. hot pepper sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled
To make the grits, place the grits in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm.) Let stand for 5 minutes. Skim off any bran or hulls floating on the surface of the water. Drain the grits in a fine-mesh sieve. In a large heavy saucepan, bring 1 quart (32 fl. oz./1 l.) water, the milk, and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking every 5 minutes, until the grits are thick and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the 6 tablespoons butter, one tablespoon at a time.
About 10 minutes before the grits are done, make the shrimp. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until one side is seared, about 1 minute. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
Add the beer, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and lemon juice to the frying pan and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by about one-third, about 5 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook until they turn opaque throughout, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosemary. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted and the sauce is lightly thickened (the sauce will still be thin).
Divide the grits evenly among 4 bowls. Top with equal amounts of the shrimp and sauce. Serve at once. Serves 4.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.