This part of my life began when my very sick partner was diagnosed with Celiac. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can make him very ill for several days, so I have pursued gluten-free options with thorough aggression. In the U.S. a recent surge of gluten awareness means we have more choices than ever, but it still means hunting and analyzing and tracking down parent companies. After several years now of doing so, I want to share my tricks and tips with others who are still struggling.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Recipe Box: New Orleans Shrimp and Grits with Andouille

I ate this at two different places while visiting New Orleans, and vowed to make it happen at home!  The one drawback was that local grocery stores do not carry a brand of gluten-free grits.  Not even in Atlanta!  So I highly recommend scoping out the grit situation ahead of time, and ordering online if necessary.  In a pinch, cream of rice works just fine, but the flavor will be different.  You can mix cream-style corn into the cream of rice for a better flavor, and at least one place in NOLA did the same to the grits.

Also note that while I would be the first to say there's no such thing as too much shrimp, in this recipe there is such a thing as too much shrimp.  More than a pound overwhelms all the other flavors.  

1 cup uncooked grits, plus whatever you need to cook them per their directions (quick cooking is fine, stone-ground tastes better)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (not olive - it will scorch)
3/4 lb andouille sausage, sliced into thin rounds
1 lb raw shrimp, or 1/2 lb if buying it already peeled and de-veined. 
3 cloves garlic
4 green onions, white and green parts separated
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend (or 1 tablespoon corn starch) in a little cold water
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon creole seasoning

Cook grits according to the manufacturer's directions.
Mince the garlic and the white parts of the green onion
Chop the green parts of the green onion
Peel and de-vein the shrimp
Fry the andouille slices in the oil until browned over medium-high heat.  Set them aside.
In the same pan, sautee the garlic and white parts of the green onion until fragrant.
Add chicken broth, cream, and flour or corn starch and reduce to medium heat
Stir slowly, scraping the bottom of the pan.  If clumps form, use a whisk to smooth them out
Cook until thickened (about 3 to 5 minutes) stirring slowly
Add sausage, shrimp, and creole seasoning
Cook until shrimp is no longer translucent, another 3-5 minutes.

Serve with a 1/3-1/2 cup scoop of grits, and a generous amount of the meat and sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Store and re-heat leftover grits and topping separately.  Pick out the shrimp before microwaving.  Once the mix is hot, add the shrimp back in and wait 1 minute for them to warm.  This prevents the shrimp from getting overcooked and tough. 

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