I think grits are among the most homey ingredients, and no one can deny that cheesy grits with shrimp is a wonderful thing. But I wanted to shed my North Carolina hat and try something just a little different.
INGREDIENTS - Grits
1 cup grits
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 slices ginger root
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, optional
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, lifting the lid to whisk often, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, adding more water or stock as needed until grits are creamy and thick. Remove ginger slices.
Make the shrimp and compote while the grits are cooking.
Shrimp and Compote Ingredients
1-2 Jalapenos, chopped fine*
1/2 pineapple, cored, peeled and cubed
1 small mango, seeded, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup brown sugar or agave
Small bunch cilantro, rough chopped
2 pounds cleaned and deveined shrimp
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Salt & pepper
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except shrimp and sesame oil. Cook on medium until the fruit gets soft and the mixture thickens slightly.
* Jalapenos can trick you - one day you get a bite that’s so mild, it’s like a bell pepper and another day you’ll swear it hit a new Scoville high. Taste a tiny piece of the pepper to decide if you want one or more, and if you want the extra heat of leaving the seeds in.
In a saute pan, lightly salt & pepper the shrimp, and cook them over medium heat in the sesame oil just until pink all the way through.
Add some of the glaze to the shrimp to keep them moist.
Taste your grits when they’re done. (You may be tempted to add a little sweetener or to cut back the salt since you expect coconut dishes to be a little on the sweet side. But the glaze and fruit will make up for that.)
Top each serving of grits with some fruit/shrimp and drizzle the juice over the grits as well. Try a mildly sweet Reisling like this Zind Humbrecht, or a full-bodied, serious Chardonnay with this.