I had a craving for shrimp and grits last night. This was strange because I'm not Southern, I'd never had a craving for shrimp and grits, and I'd never made the dish before. But I know what happened -- a few weeks ago, I had dinner at Hungry Mother in Cambridge, and the shrimp and grits there were so good they embedded themselves in my subconscious. Now I had to have them again.
It was a good chance to try the Anson Mills grits I've been hearing about forever. Formaggio sells them (you can also buy them directly from Anson Mills online), and there may be gold in them there grits because they're priced accordingly. I squeaked into the store just before closing, nabbed some grits, went to the grocery store, and got into the kitchen around 9 p.m. Oh well, it would be a late dinner.
Little did I know that if you don't soak Anson Mills grits overnight, they take 90 minutes to cook. By the time I discovered this, looking at the company's website, it was 9:30. I'm famous for beginning time-consuming cooking projects late at night, but I was too tired and hungry to wait till 11. For dinner I ate shrimp -- sauteed in olive oil with garlic, scallions, and mushrooms, topped with squirts of lemon juice and hot sauce -- and watched my grits soak.
This morning I got up early and started simmering. I used half water, half milk, and added cheddar, butter, salt, pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce at the end. Next time I'll just stick with water, salt and pepper, and butter. But these grits were great: full of corn flavor, with a nice chunky texture. I thoroughly enjoyed my delayed-gratification-shrimp-and-grits breakfast. It seemed fitting, as the dish got its start as breakfast for Low Country fishermen and their families.
Here's the recipe I used, though I changed things here and there.
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