We went to Raleigh to see a friend and stopped by both the Raleigh and Cary wine stores and picked up a bottle of wine to try with the shrimp and grits we planned to have that evening. We like to stop in without notice to see what the staff recommends for our meals.
Two distinctly different wines. One recommendation was a 2009 Foxglove chardonnay from the central coast of California ($14.99) and the other a 2009 Reserve Vignerouns Saumur chenin blanc from the Loire Valley in France ($10.99).
Everyone has a favorite shrimp and grits recipe for sure, but we prefer this one because it is extremely easy to fix and we love the grits. The secret is in the ingredients which are as follows:
1 cup of grits – quick cooking
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbls butter
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan then whisk in the grits and half and half. Cook whisking constantly until thickened.
Remove from the heat and add 2tbls of butter and keep warm.
This will make four main course servings. We cut it in half for the two of us.
We like to buy the coastal Carolina raw shrimp and not the farm raised so for the shrimp buy 11/2 lbs large shrimp peel, de-vein, and rinse. This can be done early and put in the refrigerator.
1 lb asparagus spears – tough ends snapped off and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 8oz package mushrooms sliced
1 bunch green onions cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp dried thyme and 1/2 tsp salt
Melt 2 tlbs butter in a large skillet over medium high heat and add asparagus, mushroom, green onions, and thyme. Saute 3-4 minutes and add shrimp. Cook 2-3 minutes then stir in salt and cook 3 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook the shrimp.
Serve immediately over the grits. We like to serve this in a big bowl like a pasta bowl. We don’t serve a salad or anything but maybe a roll since the dish is quite filling.
Now for the two wine choices – My first reaction to the Chenin Blanc was negative, but it grew on me as we ate. I preferred the Chardonnay since it was perfect for my taste for sipping while we cooked and I thought it stood up to the meal quite well particularly since it was un-oaked.
Since you would normally only purchase one wine to accompany this dish, that was my choice. Quite frankly, I thought the Chenin Blanc a little austere for this creamy, buttery tasting dish. Ron on the other hand preferred the Chenin Blanc. He thought it had a clean, crisp finish that was needed for the grits, but that it did not overpower the shrimp and asparagus and that would have been his choice. Two people with different tastes and different opinions – good reason to have your wine retailer get to know what you like. In the end, both wines were well balanced and very good matches for the meal.
The meal cost between $18 and $20 depending on the wine (one glass per person). We splurged a little on the shrimp so the meal was a little more than usual.
From our kitchen to yours,