Red Crystal Shrimp
• Stone Ground Grits.
• 3 strips Bacon.
• 1 small Onion.
• Water, Salt, Pepper.
• 1 Tbsp Asian Fish Sauce.
• 1.5 lbs Royal Red Shrimp.
• 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter.
• 1 Tbsp Miso Paste.
• 1 cup Amber Lager Beer.
• 1 tsp Ground Coriander.
• 6 Tbsp Crystal Hot Sauce.
• Vietnamese Chili/Garlic Sauce.
• 1/2 cup Dried Oranges
• 4 Sliced Sweet Peppers
• 1 chopped Tomato.
• Lemon Wedges.
I hate to push brand names but for this recipe you need to use Louisiana's Crystal Hot Sauce. Why? Because if you try this dish with Tabasco or any other hot sauce you will burn your mouth out. Yes, the best thing about Crystal Hot Sauce is that it's not that hot. You can guzzle the stuff endlessly and it maintains the same level of heat.
The red part comes from a recent discovery in shrimp - Royal Red Shrimp - a deep water shrimp found off the coast of Alabama which is naturally red before it is cooked. It is also more tender than most shrimp and amazingly tasty. It is not as important as using Crystal Hot Sauce but if you can find it then get it. Otherwise just use ordinary shrimp.
The recipe is made to serve three to four people.
First make the grits. The grits are the base of the dish and the secret to its overall success. The shrimp are just the frosting on the cake.
Dice one small onion. Take one strip of bacon per person, trim off the fat and dice it into small chunks. Toss the bacon and onion in a tall sided sauce pan with just enough water to cover the base. Cook over medium heat until the water has evaporated.
Add in three tablespoons of dried stone ground grits and one cup water per person. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for as long as you possibly can, one hour at least, occasionally adding water to the pot if it dries out too quickly. Salt and pepper to taste
If you are feeling adventurous, substitute half the water with crab/shrimp/fish stock and toss in a tablespoon of Asian Fish Sauce.
Prepare the shrimp. While the grits are cooking, peel and devein the shrimp.
In a wok over medium heat three tablespoons of water and add three tablespoons of butter, whisk constantly as the butter melts making an emulsified (making it look like a creamy soup). Whisk in the other three tablespoons of butter until they are thoroughly melted.
Add the miso paste (whisk to mix) and follow with the beer, coriander and finally the six (yes six) tablespoons of crystal hot sauce. Season with Vietnamese Chili/Garlic sauce to bring up to your desired level of heat (usually not more than 1 tsp). Bring to a simmer. If the sauce begins to boil then it is way too hot.
Add shrimp (1/3 to 1/2 pound per person) and cook for three to five minutes, turning as needed to submerge and cook gray areas of uncooked shrimp. Once the shrimp is white all the way through it is done.
About halfway through the cooking of the shrimp, add the peppers, dried oranges and tomatoes. They just need to heat up and not actually cook.
Scoop the grits into single serving bowls, top with shrimp, and spoon the sauce over it. Serve with a chilled white wine and lemon wedges.