Chef Leon Schreck is showing us his take on Shrimp and Grits with Cajun Red-Eye Gravy and Bourbon Bacon Jam

Today in Amarillo

Boudreaux’s Red eye Gravy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Bourbon Bacon Jam:

Bourbon Bacon Jam:

  • 1 lb. of cubed applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 whole sweet onion, diced
  • Bacon drippings
  • 8 oz of Jim Beam Bourbon
  • 8 oz of coffee
  • ¼ to ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic (pressed)

Render down bacon until lightly crispy, remove bacon and set aside. Place onions in skillet with bacon grease on med-low heat and caramelize, add fresh garlic in at the last minute, then drain grease off the pan. Add the bacon back in, then add the coffee, and then the bourbon. (Use caution pouring in the bourbon, slow and easy in the middle of the skillet. Doing it this way it usually will not flare up) after the alcohol burns off (when you stop smelling the alcohol) add the brown sugar to your taste and reduce by half (the mixture will thicken to jam consistency as it cools) set aside

Cajun Red eye Gravy:

  • Bacon drippings (if you save bacon grease, or buy in store)
  • ½ of 1 onion diced
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 ring of andouille sausage cut into bite size rounds
  • Worcestershire to taste about 3 good shakes
  • 8 oz coffee
  • 8 oz chicken stock
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of corn starch

Place onions and bell peppers in bacon grease and cook till translucent.

Add the andouille sausage and continue to cook until the sausage is starting to brown. Add the garlic cook for 1 minute, then add the coffee. In a separate bowl add the corn starch to the chicken stock while cold and stir it up well, this will keep your gravy from getting lumpy. Once mixed and smooth add the chicken/cornstarch mixture to the pot. Add the Cajun seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce, stir well. As it starts to slow boil it will thicken slightly, you are looking for a loose gravy.

Cheesy Grits:

  • 1 cup of grits
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ stick sweet cream butter
  • 5 oz of shredded cheese (I use Asiago)
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Bring to a slow boil the cream, butter, and water. Whisk in the grits for a few minutes to ensure you don’t have lumps. Add salt and pepper, then whisk while reducing heat to med-low, cover, and stir occasionally. After 10 minutes the grits should be thick, add a little more cream, and all the cheese whisk again until the cheese is all melted and mixed, and the grits are creamy, not stiff.

Shrimp:

  • Deveined shell and tail off. (I use jumbo shrimp, the whole 2lb bag)

Cooking oil or bacon grease to coat the shrimp, sprinkle Cajun seasoning over the shrimp, and hand coat until even. Skewer shrimp and place on a hot grill plate or on a charcoal grill and sear for about 3 minutes per side. Add to the red-eye gravy or leave it to place on top of the grits

Plate:

Place the grits you want on the plate, add the red-eye gravy, and then place a skewer of shrimp on top. and the bacon Jam on top of the shrimp and garnish with green onion or chives

or

if the shrimp was added to the red-eye gravy, then you put a layer of bacon jam on the plate then the grits, then the red-eye gravy and green onions or chive to garnish

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