Summertime Shrimp and Grits
For the grits:
1 cup whole milk
21/2 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup stone-ground organic grits
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove and combine milk, water, butter and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk the grits into the liquid and reduce heat to low. Cook the grits 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently until creamy and tender. Add more water if the grits become too thick.
Add the salt and season with freshly ground pepper to taste and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Add the goat cheese to the grits and whisk thoroughly to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
For the grilled shrimp:
1 pound fresh white shrimp, 21-25 count, heads removed
Bamboo skewers (or your choice of skewer)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Using a paring knife, peel and devein all of the shrimp.
If using bamboo skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes before assembly. Assemble the skewers by inserting the tip first through the tail and then through the head end of the shrimp. Place 4 to 6 shrimp per skewer side by side. This will keep the shrimp from falling off or twisting while being grilled.
Drizzle the shrimp skewers liberally with the juice from 1 lemon and the olive oil. Allow them to marinate for 30 minutes Season the shrimp with salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill the shrimp skewers 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat until cooked through and remove from the grill. Squeeze the juice of the second lemon over the shrimp and set aside until ready to serve.
For the sweet corn salsa:
8 ears fresh corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Roast the corn in the husk on a hot grill or in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Shuck the roasted corn, being careful to remove all the silk and cut the corn from the cob.
Add the corn to the mixing bowl and mix until combined. Check seasoning and add freshly ground pepper to taste.
Divide the grits evenly between four bowls or plates or serve family-style. Arrange the shrimp on top of the grits. Finish the dishes by spooning a liberal amount of corn salsa on top of each.
Marilyn Markel is Cooking School manager for Southern Season. She began her career as an instructor at the Central Market cooking school in Plano, Texas. In 2003 Markel moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to develop Southern Season's new cooking school. She served as a judge for the James Beard Cookbook Awards in 2013.