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In the Kitchen: Cooking with Charleston flavor
Charleston flavor

We had so much fun on a recent trip to Charleston, S.C. It has been years since we last visited and we had an absolute blast. In addition, the weather was sunny and in the high 70’s and low 80’s, so we took full advantage of lots of walking around the amazing city.

Shrimp and grits were on pretty much every menu, as was She Crab Soup. I could hardly wait to get busy trying to re-create these dishes and then share the recipes with all of you.

When it comes to the “grits” part of the dish, stay away from the quick cooking kind. Instead, look for stone-ground grits.

Shrimp and Grits 

1 pound large shrimp, with the shells on

2 teaspoon olive oil

4 ounces Andouille, sliced

3 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14-ounce) fire roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon salt

Grits:

4 cups water

1 ½ cups stone-ground corn grits

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a saucepan, combine water, grits, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover and set aside while you peel and devein the shrimp. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add Andouille and cook until browned. Add red pepper and cook until softened. Add green onions and garlic and cook another minute. Stir in tomatoes with their juices, dried oregano, Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, and salt. Bring the grits back to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and off of the heat stir in the butter and the cheese. Right before serving, stir the shrimp into the sausage and tomato mixture. Cook about 3-4 minutes, just until cooked through. To serve, ladle the grits into a bowl, and spoon some of the sausage/shrimp mixture on top.

She Crab Soup

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons onion, finely minced

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cup seafood stock

1 cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon lemon zest

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon Creole seasoning (more to taste)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ pound Jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells

3 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons chives, minced

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook a few minutes. Add flour and cook another minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, nutmeg, Creole seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add sherry and taste for seasoning. Remove from heat and stir in the crab meat. Ladle into bowls, garnish with chives and serve.