Q: Taqueria del Sol makes the best Shrimp & Grits in town. However, it is not on their regular menu. They have it as a weekly special only a couple of times a year. My husband and I have been known to go four times in one week just to get our fill of their Shrimp & Grits. Any chance they would share their recipe? — Barbara Springer, Cumming
A: Always happy to share recipes, chef and owner Eddie Hernandez sent this recipe, which is one of the simplest versions of shrimp and grits we’ve featured in this column. In this case, simple equals delicious.
Hernandez likes to use black tiger shrimp in this recipe. The designation 26/30 means there are 26 to 30 shrimp per pound. The chefs at Taqueria del Sol frequently use margarine when sauteing and then add butter where its flavor will be most noticeable.
Taqueria del Sol’s Shrimp & Grits
3 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup quick grits
Salt and granulated sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons margarine, divided
4 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 jalapenos, finely diced, seeds removed if you prefer a less spicy dish
1 pound 26/30 shrimp, peeled
In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, cream and butter. Bring to a simmer and stir in grits, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Simmer mixture until grits are tender and then season with salt and sugar to taste. Keep warm.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Add tomatoes and jalapeno and cook until soft.
Move the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt remaining tablespoon margarine. Add shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato-jalapeno mixture and serve with grits. Serves: 4
Per serving: 709 calories (percent of calories from fat, 55), 34 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 43 grams fat (23 grams saturated), 288 milligrams cholesterol, 365 milligrams sodium.