Over the summer, when we were in Fort Collins, Colorado, we had ordered shrimp and grits at Jax Fish House. It was a special that they were experimenting with and we had talked to the chef about it after our meal, which was very gracious of him. In the spirit of “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”, we decided to do our own variation on their recipe. We found the Tabasco butter to be a little too oily, so we chose to do Hollandaise with a Louisiana pepper sauce instead. The Hollandaise sauce turned out nice because it gave a little bit of a lemon taste to the shrimp, but it still had some heat. We also used some Old Bay Seasoning on the shrimp, a little reminder to our east coast roots. We’re not sure if they used cheese in their grits or not, but who can argue with a little cheese. The centerpiece was the soft-boiled egg that had been fried. We have to admit, trying to replicate that was quite the challenge and took us a couple of tries. In the end, we think we hit the mark, perhaps not the same as the original, but we quite enjoyed it. We hope that you will as well. 🙂
- 3/4 cup Quick Grits
- 3 cups Water
- 1 cup Whole (or Skim) Milk
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Hollandaise Sauce (Packaged or Homemade)
- 1 – 3 tbsp Louisiana Pepper Sauce (or Tabasco)
- 4 Soft Boiled Eggs
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 2 Eggs – whisked
- 1/2 cup Panko (or Bread Crumbs)
- 2 lbs Large Shrimp
- 1 – 2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley – finely chopped
- Salt and Pepper
This is one of those meals that has a lot of things that have to come together at the same time, but if you do them in the right order, it all comes together quite well. We’ve given the instructions for each of the pieces, but we recommend that you do the steps in a specific order, multitasking whenever possible. First, soft boil the eggs. When the eggs are done, start cooking the grits and bring the oil up to temperature to fry the eggs. While the grits are cooking, prepare the Hollandaise sauce. When the grits are done, start sautéing the shrimp. When the shrimp are done, fry the eggs and then set them aside on a paper towel to dry while you plate the meal.
Fried, Soft Boiled Eggs – For the soft-boiled eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil and carefully add the 4 eggs to the boiling water, cook for 6 minutes and immediate place the eggs into an ice bath. In a fryer or sauce pan, heat vegetable oil to approximately 350 degrees. Roll the eggs in the flour, then the whisked egg, and the Panko in order to batter them. Carefully place the eggs into the oil and fry for no more than 2 minutes. You may need to roll the eggs over to ensure that they brown evenly.
Cheesy Grits – In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add the 3 cups of water plus a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the grits and milk to the water, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 4 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a pinch of pepper and the cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese has fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Hollandaise Sauce – Prepare the Hollandaise sauce according to the package or directions and then add the pepper sauce (adding more or less to your desired heat), stirring to mix completely.
Sautéed Shrimp – In a large skillet, add the oil and butter and heat on medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the shrimp and Old Bay Seasoning and cook until the shrimp are pink and translucent, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, remove the shells and set aside.
To plate the meal, place the desired amount of grits on the center of the plate, add 1/4 of the shrimp to the grits. Cut one of the eggs in half and place on the grits. Pour Hollandaise sauce around the grits (and over top of the shrimp, if you’d like). Sprinkle with parsley and a little Old Bay Seasoning. Makes 4 servings.