A couple of things inspired today’s Disney Dish. First, and most importantly, we’re coming up on Mardi Gras just one week from today. Secondly, we are getting set to board our Disney Cruise that will be sailing out of New Orleans, very soon. Throw in our love for Disneyland and today’s recipe became an easy one to explore.
So, to celebrate all those things, here is the Shrimp & Grits Recipe from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in the Downtown Disney District.
Grab your beads and let’s get cooking!
Unlike a lot of classic New Orleans style dishes, this one can be thrown together pretty quickly. The ingredients list for our Shrimp & Grits from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is not a lengthy one and most of the items are fairly common.
If you’re not from the southern portion of the country, Grits may not be a staple in your pantry. Despite that, you should be able to find them within your grocery store. They are often nearby the other hot cereals like oatmeal. If you can’t find them there, however, you may be able to track them down by asking for Polenta. Even though it is thought of as more of an Italian side dish, it consists of a very similar grind of Corn used in Grits.
The other item that may be tricky to find is the Creole Seasoning. It’s not always right there in the standard batch of spices you’ll find on the store shelf. As a matter of fact, you’re more likely to find Cajun Seasoning. While they are similar, note that the Cajun version is significantly spicier. If you like your Shrimp & Grits with a bit more heat, then you can use this as a replacement.
If you’re whipping up a batch of this recipe for Shrimp & Grits from Ralph Brennan’s Kitchen on an average night, you’re going to want to start with the most time consuming portion. That’s the Grits.
- Now, when I say it’s “time consuming”, that is a very relative statement. The Grits should take only about a total of 25 minutes to cook. Compare that to the several hours of cooking for some of our braised dishes.
Begin by melting the Butter within a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced Onion and Andouille Sausage to the melted Butter. Sauté until the Onions begin to soften and become translucent then add the Chicken Stock and bring to a boil.
Next, stir in the Grits, lower the heat and cover the pot. Continue to cook the Grits for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the Half & Half or Cream and cook, uncovered, for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Once the Grits become mostly smooth and “creamy”, remove from the heat and add the Shredded Parmesan Cheese and Chopped Parsley. Season, to taste, with Salt and reserve until ready to use.
Now we move on to the literal “meat” of our Shrimp & Grits from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen; the Shrimp. This comes together pretty quickly so you’ll want to be sure not to start it until the Grits are just about completely cooked.
Start by adding the Chicken or Shrimp Stock, Lemon Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Black Pepper, Creole Seasoning and Minced Garlic to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Next, place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the Shrimp and the other combined ingredients to the heated pan and give them a stir to coat. Cook over medium-high heat until the Shrimp are just cooked through. This should only take a couple of minutes.
Once the Shrimp has just cooked through, reduce the heat to low and add the Butter. The best way to incorporate the Butter into the sauce is by swirling the pan around. You can also lightly stir it in as it slowly melts.
- Be sure you’ve lowered the heat when you add the Butter. Too much heat could cause the Butter to separate, essentially breaking the sauce and making it oily instead of smooth. If your sauce does “break”, it can be saved by swirling in a small amount of cream.
To serve, add the Grits to a shallow bowl. Top with 7 or 8 Shrimp and a spoonful or two of the sauce. Garnish with Chopped Parsley and serve immediately.
This Shrimp & Grits from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is a little touch of New Orleans in a bowl. It combines the flavors of the South along with many of the more “French-Style” techniques found in Cajun and Creole cooking in a wonderful way that can be whipped up easily on an average night.
Let’s start with the Shrimp. They are meaty and tender and complimented by the luxurious sauce. The spice from the seasonings comes through without overpowering the dish with heat. You also get a lovely bite from the Garlic and just a little acid from the Lemon Juice.
As for the Grits, they are creamy and offer a good partner to the Shrimp. The Parmesan adds a salty yet deep richness cut by the light spice from the Andouille Sausage.
The one thing I will say is that this recipe is a very rich one. It has a lot of French influence in it’s soul so the Cheese and all the butter does make it rather decadent. If you’re not a fan of rich food, this may not be the recipe for you.
But I love it! Make it tonight and celebrate Fat Tuesday in Disney Style!
Shrimp & Grits from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
Makes approximately 4 servings
- 6 tbls – Unsalted Butter
- ½ – Medium Onion – Small Diced
- ¼ – Andouille Sausage – Sliced
- 3 cups – Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
- 1 cup – Grits
- 1 cup – Half & Half or Heavy Cream
- 2 tbls – Parmesan Cheese – Grated
- 1 tbls – Fresh Parsley – Chopped
- Kosher or Sea Salt – To Taste
For the Shrimp
- 1 lb – Medium Shrimp – About 30 Shrimp
- ¼ cup – Shrimp or Chicken Stock
- 1 tsp – Creole Seasoning
- ½ – Lemon – Juiced
- 1½ tbls – Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tbls – Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp – Fresh Garlic – Minced
- ¼ lb – Unsalted Butter – Cubed
- 1 tsp – Fresh Parsley – Chopped – For Garnish
For the Grits
- Add the Unsalted Butter to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the Onion and Andouille Sausage in the melted Butter and sauté until just translucent
- Next, add the Chicken Stock and bring to a boil
- Stir in the Grits and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken; about 12 – 15 minutes
- Whisk in the Half & Half or Cream and cook, uncovered, for another 3 – 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan Cheese and Parsley. Season to taste with Salt
- Reserve until ready to serve
For the Shrimp
- Place a large pan over medium-high heat
- Add the Chicken or Shrimp Stock, Creole Seasoning, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper, Worcestershire Sauce and Garlic to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the heated pan with the Shrimp
- Cook the Shrimp until just cooked through and firm; about 2 minutes
- Lower the heat to low and add the Cubed Butter. Swirl the pan to combine the Butter into the rest of the sauce
- Spoon the Grits into a shallow bowl
- Top with 7 or 8 Shrimp and 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the Sauce
- Garnish with Chopped Parsley and serve immediately
Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes