“This is a very traditional low country dish. At its simplest, [it’s] just plain pan-fried shrimp with grits, but it’s pretty flexible,” says Chef Robert Stehling of Charleston’s Hominy Grill. Asparagus gives it a spring touch, but it summer you could leave it out or substitute broccolini, he adds. Chanterelles would be a good choice for the mushrooms in summer, too. “In fall, you might replace the shrimp with chicken and when it gets to be winter, you could make more of a sauce--maybe make a roux and add some shrimp stock and cream and let it thicken.”
On handling asparagus, Stehling says, “A knife doesn’t know where the woody end begins or ends. Bend the spear back until it snaps, then use the tender end. The woody end can be used for stock.”
Our thanks to Robert Stehling and Chefs Collaborative for permission to publish this recipe.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, approximately 5–6 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels, reserve the bacon fat in pan and add peanut oil, if needed, to give you approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Toss the shrimp with the flour until they are lightly coated, removing any excess flour. Over medium-high heat cook the shrimp on one side, flip them and add mushrooms, bacon and asparagus. Cook until shrimp is just done, about 2–4 minutes. (Take care not to overcook the shrimp.) Add the garlic, stirring constantly so as not to brown the garlic. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, Tabasco and green onions. Spoon over cheese grits.