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Dining

Country Club’s shrimp and grits is a classic refined

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Make Guia’s shrimp and grits at home—or head to the Country Club and get them made for you.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Chef Carlos Guia first arrived in the Valley to helm the local outpost of the famous Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution since 1880. It’s that pedigree, along with his New Orleanian mother’s cooking lineage, that inspire his popular Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Wynn’s Country Club restaurant and, of course, his shrimp and grits.

Recipes for the classic dish vary—the Store in downtown New Orleans even deep fries their shrimp—but Guia’s shrimp and grits reflects his past experience with both Commander’s Palace and Louis’ Fish Camp prior to joining the Wynn team.

If you’re not in the mood to make your own shrimp stock, Guia suggests just sautéing shrimp heads in low sodium chicken or vegetable stock instead, to infuse a bit more shrimp flavor into the mix. The layered shrimp flavors from multiple sources of infusion are what make this dish memorable.

The Details

The Country Club
At Wynn, 770-3463.
Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday brunch, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sunday Jazz Brunch, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Shrimp and Grits

(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

36 (U15) shrimp

4 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. chopped garlic

6 tbsp. Creole seasoning

½ cup diced tomato

½ cup green onions

5 cups shrimp gravy (recipe below)

salt

Method: 1. Peel, de-vein and butterfly shrimp. (Keep the shells if you plan to make shrimp stock). Place shrimp in a bowl and add two tablespoons of oil, garlic and Creole seasoning. Toss until shrimp are well coated. 2. Heat one or two large sauté pans over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté for 30 seconds on each side. 3. Add shrimp gravy and smother the shrimp, allowing them to slowly finish cooking in the gravy for approximately 1 minute per side until fully cooked. Add tomato, green onions and smother for another 30 seconds. 4. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If sauce is too thick, add shrimp stock.

Shrimp Gravy

(Makes 10 cups)

Ingredients:

½ cup small diced onion

½ cup small diced celery

½ cup small diced red peppers

¾ cup butter

2 tbsp. chopped garlic

2 tsp. chopped thyme

2 each bay leaves

2/3 cup flour

½ cup tomato puree

1½ cup heavy cream

6 cups shrimp stock

3 tbsp. Creole seasoning

salt

Method: 1. Sweat the onion, celery, and red pepper in the butter obtaining no color. Halfway through sweating, add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. 2. Once the vegetables have been rendered, add the flour to make a roux. 3. Once the roux has come together, add the shrimp stock. Mix together to obtain a soup-like consistency and add the tomato puree and heavy cream. 4. Finish with the Creole seasoning, salt and pepper.

Shrimp Stock

Ingredients:

4 cups shrimp shells

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

4 each garlic cloves

4 sprigs thyme

2 each bay leaves

4 each chopped Roma tomatoes

1 cup white wine

8 cups water

1 pinch kosher salt and white pepper

Method: 1. Heat a large stock pot, add shrimp shells and sauté. 2. Deglaze with white wine. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for approximately 30 minutes until flavor is well-developed. 3. Strain and reserve for later use.

Creamy Grits

Ingredients:

2 cups white or yellow stone-ground grits

8 cups water

½ lb. butter

kosher salt

freshly ground white pepper

½ cup heavy cream

Method: 1. In a large sauce pot, bring water to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Stir in grits with a whisk and lower heat to a very low simmer. 3. Add butter and stir every 3 minutes until grits are cooked and have a nice, thick consistency. 4. Add heavy cream and more butter, if needed. Grits should now be creamy and well-seasoned. 5. Place a spoonful of creamy grits in the center of a hot bowl. Place six shrimp over the grits and smother with shrimp gravy.

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