Jaime Isobe's Shrimp & Grits Tacos
Create Cooking Challenge 2016 winner Jaime Isobe puts a Mexican twist on a Low Country classic, Shrimp & Grits. He serves it in a grits-infused tortilla topped with a beer/Worcestershire butter sauce.
1 lb shell on shrimp 16-20/lb
5 TBSP unsalted butter
4 ½ cups water
1 cup grits
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups of masa marina as needed
1 TBSP grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 cup diced shallots
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced red bell pepper
⅛ tsp onion powder
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
⅛ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic minced
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 2/3 cup dark beer (Irish stout works well)
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch green onions diced
1. Simply peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells and tails. Return the shrimp to the refrigerator until needed.
2. Melt 2 TBSP butter in a medium saucepan and add in the shells and tails. Sauté until bright pink. Add in the water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Strain the shells/tails, return the liquid to the saucepan, and bring back to the boil.
4. Whisk in the grits to the shrimp stock along with 1 tsp of kosher salt and a ½ tsp of freshly ground black pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes stirring the bottom often.
5. Once cooked, pour 2 cups of grits into a mixing bowl and slowly add in about 1 ½ cups of masa harina stirring constantly until the mixture comes together. Work it the mixture slightly, adding in more masa as needed until a dough ball forms that is springy and no longer sticky. Form a ball and cover with a damp towel for 1 hour.
6. Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and thoroughly dry with paper towels. In a mixing bowl, add in 1 TBSP of vegetable or grapeseed oil, ¼ tsp of pepper, and a ½ tsp of kosher salt.
7. Next, brown the shrimp on one side in a pre heated, large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Remove the par cooked shrimp to a plate.
8. Melt 2 TBSP of butter in the same pan and add in the holy trinity of shallots, celery and red bell pepper. Sauté over high heat for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
9. Add in the onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, dried thyme, oregano, and smoked paprika. Sauté for 1 minute and add in the minced garlic. Sauté for another minute stirring occasionally.
10. Mix in the flour, reduce the heat to low and let the flour’s raw edge cook off for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the cold, dark beer along with the Worcestershire sauce. Bring the sauce to the simmer and reduce until thickened.
11. Next, add in the reserved shrimp and cook until they are just cooked through. Turn off the heat, drop in 1 TBSP of butter, and mix continuously until it has completely melted and emulsified into the sauce. Finish by adding in the diced green onions.
12. Using a tortilla press, press a golf ball sized portion of the grits dough into a tortilla. Toss the pressed, raw tortillas into a pan over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until the sides have slightly browned and curled.
13. Fill each tortilla with the shrimp mixture and serve with a side of extra sauce.