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#CookClub recipe No. 39: Andouille Shrimp and Grits

There are many ways to make shrimp and grits, but this version would likely raise some eyebrows in South Carolina’s Low Country.

JANET K. KEELER | Times

There are many ways to make shrimp and grits, but this version would likely raise some eyebrows in South Carolina’s Low Country.

There are many variations on shrimp and grits, a classic South Carolina Low Country favorite.

I am sure none of them include goat cheese.

#CookClub recipe No. 39 is a variation on them that does, indeed, include goat cheese. I've actually pared back the amount as I tinkered with Andouille Shrimp and Grits from Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Quirk, 2013). And I added some white cheddar to the grits.

Shrimp has a fairly delicate taste, and, while I love goat cheese, a little goes a long way. On my first test, that's about all I could taste. When I make shrimp and grits, I buy the freshest shrimp I can. Masking that flavor seems foolish to me.

The other departure here is the addition of cubed butternut squash. What? Yes, and I am sure that's as far as you can get from authenticity as possible. However, the addition is genius. The squash adds sweetness and another texture. I bought prepeeled, precut squash in my produce department — also genius, especially if you're in a hurry.

I have a variety of grits in my pantry: instant, old-fashioned and stone-ground. The instant cooked the fastest, followed by old-fashioned and then stone-ground. I used old-fashioned for this recipe. They are chewy enough without needing 60 minutes of cooking time.

I like this variation on the theme and will be curious to see what you think, as well as how you put your own spin on it.

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So, what are you making for dinner these days? Or for that matter, breakfast or lunch? Share photos of your chili, cupcakes or kale chips with the #CookClub tag on Instagram.

We want to see your attempts at the weekly #CookClub recipes, but we also want to know what else you're creating in your kitchen.

See all of the #CookClub photos that have been posted by the cooking community at tampabay.com/cookclub.

Join our Twitter chat

At 7 p.m. every Thursday people from around the country come together to talk about food during the live #CookClub Twitter chat. Some of the #CookClub's recent topics have been healthy eating and comfort food.

We've dished about finding the balance between dining out and cooking in, as well as classic springtime dishes.

The chat always takes interesting turns as contributors share the news of their week or interesting recipes they've found.

I hope you'll join us. We've all made new friends, some as far away as England and Australia. The love of cooking knows no borders.

This week, we'll be finishing the sentence "I can't cook without . . ." (Me? My answer would "an apron.")

Follow Janet K. Keeler on Twitter at @RoadEats.

>>MODERATE

Andouille Shrimp and Grits

For the grits:

1 cup grits (not instant)

1 ½ cups white cheddar cheese

½ cup heavy cream

Salt and black pepper to taste

For the shrimp:

1 pinch saffron threads

4 ounces Andouille sausage cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

Olive oil, for pan (if needed)

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound butternut squash, cut into cubes (about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon paprika

For the topping:

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

Chopped scallions

Bring 2 ½ cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low. Gently simmer, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. Stir in white cheddar cheese and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

For the shrimp topping, soak saffron threads in 1 tablespoon warm water; set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until crispy, about 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. If skillet seems dry, add a splash of olive oil. Cook shrimp until just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Add squash to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cooked sausage and shrimp, along with saffron mixture and paprika. Cook until liquid is thickened and shrimp is heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon warm grits into bowls. Top with shrimp mixture, crumbled goat cheese and chopped scallions.

Serves 4.

Source: Adapted from Breakfast for Dinner: Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers and More! by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Quirk, 2013)

#CookClub recipe No. 39: Andouille Shrimp and Grits 04/07/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 12:26pm]
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