I told y’all I went to Ole Miss, didn’t I? Ole Miss is located in a town I love like no other – Oxford, Mississippi. For a small Mississippi town, Oxford has a lot of culture and virtually nothing embodies local culture like food! So it almost goes without saying that Oxford, the quintessential Southern town, is bursting with restaurants full of great Southern food. During my tenure at Ole Miss and in the years I’ve returned to visit, I’ve seen many Oxford restaurants come and go, but there are a few that were there long before I got there and will probably still be there long after I’m gone. One of these Oxford staples is City Grocery…and she makes some mean Shrimp & Grits!
Loving City Grocery’s Shrimp & Grits is actually how I learned to like grits period. (Forgive me for I am about to speak, um write, Southern blasphemy!) I actually didn’t like grits until I got to college, fell in love with Shrimp & Grits, then decided I’d try them one day minus the shrimp. Since I had never heard of or had Shrimp & Grits anywhere before City Grocery, I just assumed that this was a creation unique to this Oxford eatery. It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina that I discovered that Shrimp & Grits is actually cuisine straight from the South Carolina Low Country.
Nevertheless, I first came to love this dish at City Grocery and never eat it without thinking of my beloved Oxford. So like any self-respecting Ole Miss girl, there will always be a soft spot in my heart (more like tummy) for City Grocery’s Shrimp & Grits. It shouldn’t surprise me, then, that my Ole Miss friend and fellow blogger, Carmen from Keeping Up Klapper, left this comment on my Supper from N’Awlins post.
“It’s nearly impossible to find shrimp and grits as good as they make them at City Grocery in Oxford, right?! “
Little did she know…
I HAVE CITY GROCERY’S RECIPE FOR SHRIMP & GRITS!!!! And here’s the proof:
The recipe is included in this cookbook put out by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
As you can see from the cover, it is “A Collection of Recipes from Oxford, Mississippi.” For my fellow Rebels, not only does it have the recipe for City Grocery’s Shrimp & Grits, it includes several recipes from Yocona River Inn, Downtown Grill, Ajax Diner, and Bottletree Bakery, just to name a few. It’s also peppered with Grovin’ Tips, recipes for Grove food, Mississippi art, and essays from famous Mississippians. If you went to Ole Miss, you need this cookbook!
To get one for yourself, just stop by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council website and get one for yourself here.
But enough about books…let’s cook!
First you cook up some of these…
then mix in butter, sharp white Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, cayenne pepper, paprika, and Tabasco sauce until they look like this:
Then you take 1 1/2 lbs of these…
and cook them up in some olive oil with some bacon, mushrooms, garlic, lemon juice, and white wine like so:
I should tell you (as if you haven’t inferred it already) this is not a low-calorie dish. Anything that has this much bacon in it should be eaten sparingly.
But when you do eat it…man, oh man, is it good! (Side note- The recipe says to cook all that bacon in with the shrimp and mushrooms, but I find that makes the bacon get a little wilty again after it’s already been cooked. So I reserve a couple crispy tablespoons to spinkle on the top of the finished product.)
I should also warn you that it’s got a kick! I actually only put in half the Tabasco sauce the recipe calls for when I make it and I still need plenty of this to wash it down
along with plenty of water, of course.
Now THESE are Shrimp & Grits!