So, I know it’s been a while. But, I’m back and it feels so good! Plus, how exciting to be doing the first official recipe of 2018! And yes, I am aware it was Wednesday was yesterday. However, it was a snow day and I spent the time with family and having cocoa—whilst watching Harry Potter, for the thousandth time! The recipe that I am sharing today is my Morgan family shrimp and grits recipe. Now, there is two, maybe three things you should know, before making this recipe. First, it was first made for my maternal pop-pop’s birthday last year. Second, it was made with shrimp and catfish because I had catfish in the freezer and since we had a Louisana/Cajun feel for the menu that night, I decided to add the catfish as a “bonus”. Third, New Orleans in my absolute favorite city in the continental United States. I always tell people if you are able, find a way to travel there—at least once. But, to get back to the food. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Shrimp & Grits w/ Catfish and Swiss Chard
4-6 people (Suggested serving size:
1 1/2c grits, 1/4c chard, 5-6 shrimp,
1/3 c catfish & topped with bacon and andouille mixture)
1 1/2 c grits
6 1/2 c water
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 c half and half
1/2 c pecorino romano cheese
4 links or 1 lb andouille sausage
1 1/4 or 12 oz bacon
1 3/4 lbs shrimp
1 lb catfish (optional)
2 lbs swiss chard
1 large shallot
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil (if needed)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp + 2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne
2 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp + 1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp “gumbo” file powder
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Or your favorite cajun seasoning
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic, onion, file powder, paprika, cayenne, dried oregano and thyme and pepper flakes. Mix until well combined.
In cold water, wash you swiss chard and then pat dry. Then, de-stem your chard. Next, tear the remaining leaf in 1/2 lengthwise. In sets of 4, stack, roll the leaves and slices thinly. Set aside.
Smash your garlic to remove the clove skins. Proceed to mince the garlic. Next, finely dice your shallot, until resembling the minced garlic. Set aside.
Rinse and pat dry your shrimp (remove shells if necessary) and catfish (if using). On a cutting board, cut the catfish into bite-size pieces, about 1 in cubes. Separate the catfish and shrimp into 2 med bowls. Liberally cover each with the cajun seasoning, using your hands mix.
On the same cutting board, cut your bacon widthwise, in 1/4 in thick slices. Then, cut the andoullie sausages into 1/4 in thick cubes. In a large sauteé pan over med heat, add the bacon and sausage. Cook until lightly browned, but, still tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pan and place on a plate covered in a paper towel. (If using) Cook the catfish in the rendered bacon and sauage fat. Alternate in 2 or 3 batches—making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Using the slotted spoon remove and place on a plate the cooked catfish. Next, add the shrimp, cooking in 2 or 3 batches and cooking no longer than 2mins on each side. Remove the pan from heat.
In a med pot, over medium-high heat, comebine the water and salt and bring to a soft boil. Once boiling, slowly mix in the grits, stir well. Then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally-until smooth and well incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the pepper, half and half, pecorino romano cheese and additional salt to taste. Set aside.
Using the same sauté pan as before. Place over med-low and if needed, add olive oil. Carefully (lift the pan off the burner—the oil could pop) add the garlic and shallots cook for about 30 seconds, or until aromatic. Next, add the Swiss chard and 1 tsp of the Cajun seasoning. Cook until fully wilted and the moisture has evaporated, about 5-8mins. Set aside.
In a bowl, pour in desired amount of grits, then top with chard mix, catfish, shrimp and andouille bacon mixture. Finish with fresh ground black pepper. Enjoy!
Chef Note: For leftovers, you can make a quick breakfast taco. You need tortillas, cheese, chard topping, red cabbage, lime, shrimp, catfish and sour cream. In a non-stick pan or over a LOW open flame toast corn or flour tortillas. Reheat your shrimp and/or catfish and set aside. To assemble, take you tortilla, then cheese, shrimp and/or catfish, chard topping, red cabbage and top with sour cream and a pinch or lime juice. Or just whatever you can muster into something edible from your fridge.