Like one of my favorite festival foods: Shrimp & Grits.
Of course, Fall is also considered "Festival Season" and we have festivals year round. When you have a festival for everything under the sun, it's hard to pack everything into just the Spring months.
We don't go to every festival out there, but we try to make a few every year. Apparently, we've been doing it for a long time.
At the Kolache Festival in Caldwell, Texas, 2002.
That baby is now 12.
Many festivals focus on a certain type of food. If that's the case, I feel obligated to eat that food item while I'm there.
But I'm always drawn to Shrimp & Grits. There are many variations--I like trying them all.
Next week, I'll have a Creole version for you. Today, it's one of my biggest weaknesses: a creamy sauce.
And lots of green onions.
Because that's how I roll.
In piles of green onion.
I could eat grits every day. The Boy not so much. If you don't eat grits (and, really, what's wrong with you?), this is also good over pasta.
Creamy Shrimp & Grits (w/ Andouille)
1/2 TBSP olive oil
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb andouille sausage, cubed
1/2 medium onion, chopped or sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped or sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP flour
1/2 lb small-medium shrimp
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, to taste
3/4 c half and half
1/2 cup sliced green onion, divided
Add olive oil to a large skillet set on medium high heat. When the pan and oil are very hot, add the mushrooms and sear until well browned and the mushrooms no longer give off liquid. Remove from the pan.
Lower the heat to medium and add the andouille. Saute until the sausage begins to brown in spots, about 5-7 minutes. Then add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to the pan along with the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and add the shrimp to the pan. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for about 6-8 minutes until the shrimp are no longer pink.
Slowly pour in the half and half, stirring to incorporate. Add half of the green onions. Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken. (Make the grits while the sauce simmers). Serve over grits and top with the remaining green onions. Serves 4.
For the grits:
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c grits
1 c grated cheese
Add a splash of olive oil to a saucepan. Briefly saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the chicken broth and season to taste with salt and pepper (grits need a fair amount of salt). Bring to a boil and whisk in the grits. Simmer until grits are tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
Some June Festivals in Louisiana:
The Buggy Festival of Church Point, LA
French Market Creole Tomato Festival, New Orleans, LA
Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, New Orleans, LA
Louisiana Catfish Festival, Des Allemands, LA
Le Festival de la Viande Boucanee (Smoked Meat Festival), Ville Platte, LA
Beauregard Watermelon Festival, DeRidder, LA
Louisiana Peach Festival, Ruston, LA