Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grits with shrimp, lacinato kale and poached eggs

This was incredibly delicious, if a bit on the rich side. Looking forward to having the leftovers for breakfast sometime in the next few days.

  1. First, prep your kale — destem and all that good stuff, and slice into strips. Also, dice up a small amount of some kind of hard, savory cured meat (I used a VT Smoke & Cure Meat Stick, because that was what I had on hand, but any kind of pepperoni, tasso, etc. would be good. Or you could use shallots instead). Oh yeah, and peel your shrimps.
  2. Bring 4 cups of chicken stock + 1/4 cup of cream and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil
  3. Add in 1 cup of grits, stirring until it starts to thicken. Once the grits are thick, turn the heat way down and continue to stir occasionally while cooking everything else.
  4. Heat a bit of oil in a reasonably wide and deep sauté pan with a lid, and sauté your meat and/or shallots for a few minutes.
  5. Add the kale and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, uncovered, until the kale is nice and glossy-looking. Season with salt and pepper as you're doing so.
  6. Add a good splash of white wine, stock and/or water, cover the pan, and cook for about five minutes.
  7. Check to make sure there's still enough liquid in the pan to steam/poach your eggs and shrimp. If it's pretty dry, add a bit more liquid. Crack your eggs over the greens on one side of the pan, then place the shrimp on the other side.
  8. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, until the egg whites are just cooked but still soft and the shrimp are just pink.
  9. Remove the shrimp from the pan with tongs. Spoon grits into bowls, use a slotted spoon to place the greens and eggs on top of the grits, top with shrimp and then sprinkle with a little additional salt and smoked paprika.

Chicken confit

This is pretty easy to make: just take some chicken thighs, legs or drumsticks, fit them snugly into a baking pan, scatter a bunch of sliced garlic and thyme over, then pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil to just cover the chicken. Bake at 300 degrees for about two hours (oil should be just bubbling). Strain the flavored oil off, and store in the refrigerator. To serve, crisp the chicken pieces up in a tablespoon or two of the oil.