RECIPE: Shrimp, grits and red eye gravy


>>>IT’S A LITTLE RESTAURANT WITH A BIG MENU FULL OF HOME STYLE COOKING. CHEF BENJAMIN WOOD IS HERE FROM THE CORNER RESTAURANT AND BAR. THIS HAS BEEN SMELLING SO GOOD THIS MORNING. WHAT DO YOU HAVE?>>TODAY I’M GOING TO MAKE A VERY POPULAR DISH. IT’S MY TAKE ON SHRIMP, GRITS AND RED EYE GRAVY.>>WHEN YOU SAY THOSE THINGS, THAT’S DOWN HOME.>>IT IS. I’M FROM UP STATE NEW YORK. SO I MAKE MY OWN TAKE ON OLD BAY AND CALL IT NEW BAY.>>THIS IS A YANKEE VERSION OF A SOUTHERN DISH.>>YES, BUT I’VE BEEN TOLD BY MANY SOUTHERNERS THAT MY GRITS MATCH UP TO THE WAY THEIR GRAND MANY MADE THEM. SO I HAVE WHITE HOMINY GRITS, DELICIOUS RED EYE GRAVY THAT WE MAKE. I HAVE A PAN WITH SOME OIL IN IT. I’M GOING TO THROW FIVE SHRIMP IN. DO HOWEVER MUCH YOU WANT.>>WHAT KIND OF SHRIMP?>>THIS IS GULF SHRIMP, 16-20, SO IT’S A LARGER SHRIMP. THEN I HAVE THE HOUSE MADE NEW BAY SEASONING. I’M JUST GOING TO SAUTE THAT UP, GET IT NICE AND DELICIOUS, AND ONE OF THE TRICKS I DO FOR MY GRAVY THAT NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE DO, I THROW SOME SAGE INTO IT. I’LL CHOP THAT UP HERE.>>AS YOU’RE PREPARING THIS, TELL US ABOUT THIS GREAT CORNER RESTAURANT. THERE’S A WONDERFUL HISTORY THERE AND YOU HAVE REALLY REJUVENATED THAT CORNER.>>ABSOLUTELY. IT WAS A RESTAURANT FOR QUITE SOME TIME. THEN JUST RECENTLY WITHIN THE LAST FOUR AND A HALF YEARS, WE KIND OF UPSTARTED AGAIN AND BROUGHT A NEW TWIST. WE DO A LOT OF LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE AND MEATS. WE MAKE EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH. IT’S 100% FROM SCRATCH KITCHEN. IT’S PRETTY FANTASTIC.>>TELL US ABOUT THE GRITS. SOMETIMES PEOPLE GET NERVOUS ABOUT PREPARING GRITS.>>SURE. MY TRICK TO GRITS, AND IT’S ONE THAT I LEARNED FROM A WONDERFUL LADY IN ALABAMA, WAS CREAM AND BUTTER. IT MAKES EVERYTHING BUTTER. JUST KNOW THAT, CREAM AND BUTTER MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER.>>IS THAT WHY IT’S MORE WHITE THAN ORANGE?>>THE WHITE IS FROM THE WHITE HOMINY GRITS THAT WE BRING IN SPECIFICALLY FOR OUR GRITS DISH. IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU NORMALLY SEE. TRADITIONALLY SOMETIMES IT’S EASIER TO FIND YELLOW CORN GRITS OR POLENTA. SO WE TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND BRING IN WHITE HOMINY GRITS.>>SO YOU BUILD THIS WONDERFUL MEAL AND PUT THE GRITS DOWN FIRST.>>YEAH, PUT THE GRITS IN THE CENTER OF THE PLATE OR BOWL, ANYTHING THAT’S A VESSEL FOR YOU. THEN ONCE THE SHRIMP IS ALL TOGETHER AND SEASONED AND COOKED PROPERLY, PLACE THOSE ON TOP.>>THAT LOOKS GREAT.>>RIGHT ON LIKE THIS.>>THAT’S WONDERFUL. WHAT’S THE DISH NEXT TO IT?>>WE ALSO HAVE, WHILE WE ARE A BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH PLACE, WE OFFER SOME SWEET THINGS. THIS IS MY LEMON POUND CAKE WITH A HONEY LEMON CURD WITH FRESH BERRIES AND FLOWERS, THAT KIND OF STUFF FOR FUN.>>THAT LOOKS GREAT. IT’S THE CORNER RESTAURANT AND BAR?>>YES.>>SO IT’S A BAR?>>YEAH, WE HAVE A FULL SERVICE BAR. WE HAVE SPECIALTY DRINKS AND COCKTAILS, ALL THAT. IT’S ALL MADE FROM SCRATCH.>>WHAT MAKES THE BLOODY MARY SPECIAL? THAT’S A GREAT BRUNCH DRINK.>>ABSOLUTELY. WE MAKE THE MIX 100%. SO THERE’S GARLIC AND WORCESTERSHIRE AND CELERY AND TOMATOES. WE DO IT ALL THERE INSTEAD OF BUYING A PREMADE MIX. WE DO IT OURSELVES.>>IT SOUNDS LIKE WALKING IN A HOUSE, EVERYTHING IS GREAT AND

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