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A Taste of Disney: Shrimp and Grits

Alex is trying to cook her way through her two Disney cookbooks.

This shrimp and grits recipe is truly mouthwatering.

This shrimp and grits recipe is truly mouthwatering.

Picking the Dish

I am a big fan of the food at Walt Disney World. I have yet to have a meal that I didn't like. I will admit it, not every meal is out of this world amazing. But, the vast majority of the dishes I have had the pleasure of trying are worth attempting at home. I have been collecting the Disney cookbooks for about a year now, trying to gather all my favorite dishes.

In my endeavor to own all the Disney cookbooks that have been published, I have made a goal of cooking as many of the dishes as I can. To be honest, there are some that I will most likely never make, simply because I have no interest in them. (I will never be able to cook a live lobster. Sadly, this means I cannot make the lobster bisque from Le Chefs de France.)

I have been slowly improving my culinary skills with each recipe I try. I was a little nervous to try the shrimp and grits. I knew that it had to be good. They serve it at the Grand Floridian for crying out loud! But, I knew that I would be the only one trying this dish. My boyfriend isn't a fan of grits, so I knew that I couldn't count on him to try my creation. I really didn't want to deal with the hassle of having, or God forbid quartering, the recipe so I had almost given up hope of trying out this gem. But, my coworker said that she was willing to give them a try. So, shrimp and girts was back on the menu.

Dinner in the Making

One weekend my boyfriend was visiting friends in another city. I was alone. Well, technically I was pet sitting for a friend so it was a bit of a full house, but you get the idea. I invented my coworker over for dinner on Saturday. Here was when I got a little nervous. I always get nervous when I have to cook for someone new. Silly, but I can't help it.

She offered to bring the wine, and of course I accepted. After I got off work Saturday afternoon I set out to the store to get everything else I would need for dinner. I was at the store for a while because I wanted to make sure that I didn't forget anything. I also chose to use fresh herbs for the first time in my culinary career. Like I said: I was nervous about cooking for my friend and I wanted to make sure everything turned out as it should. That, and I knew that I would be writing this post and I wanted to do things by the book.

How Long Will It Take?

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min

4-6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grits, regular or stone ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt, coarse
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, fresh and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, fresh and chopped
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup fennel
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chorizo sausage, crumbled
  • 1 cup white wine

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 cups of milk and 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat until just simmering.
  2. Stir in the onion and garlic.
  3. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the grits and salt. Make sure to keep staring often and cook until grits are tender (about the consistency of oatmeal).
  4. Remove the grits from heat and stir in the thyme, rosemary, butter, and mascarpone. Keep the girts warm until ready to serve.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, and add the shrimp.
  6. Sauce the shrimp until they are just pink and then remove them from the pan. Keep the shrimp warm until the sauce is finished.
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add the chorizo (if using), fennel, and onion. Cook until all are slightly brown.
  8. Pour in the wine and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid reduces by half (around 10 minutes).
  9. Add the cream and reduce by half again.
  10. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter. Season as desired with salt and pepper.
  11. Add the shrimp to the sauce and stir until well combined.
  12. Place the girts in a bowl or a plate and top with the shrimp and sauce.

The Final Product

A hearty meal that is great for dinner or a savory breakfast.

A hearty meal that is great for dinner or a savory breakfast.

My Experience

I loved this dish. The flavors were well balanced and the savory nature was perfect for dinner. However, I made a lot of grits. Well, to be more accurate the recipe makes a lot of grits. My coworker doesn't eat as much as I do so I had more leftovers than I thought I would. Reheated grits are not the best thing in the world, but they were defiantly edible.

In the future I think I will halve the recipe if it will be just me enjoying this dish. I would rather not have three days worth of grits to reheat. Not to mention, grits are very filling.

Somehow, the shrimp reheated well and didn't seem to last as long as the grits. Maybe I will make this sometime with just the shrimp and the sauce, I have a feeling it would be great over pasta. Maybe tortellini or a ravioli.

I would love the opportunity to make this amazing dish again.

The recipe with the chorizo.

The recipe with the chorizo.

2022 Update

So, I was finally able to convince Nic that he should try shrimp and grits. Guess what? He loved it. His only request is that I add more of the chorizo next time. He enjoyed the flavors and texture, which was what kept him from agreeing to try it for so long. I ended up only making enough of the shrimp, chorizo, and sauce for two servings because I wasn't sure if he would like it and if it wasn't covered in that sauce I could pop a poached egg over the leftover grits and call it breakfast.

© 2017 isharkbait

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