Try These Makeover meals

Local chefs provide interesting twists on a few culinary classics.

Traditional vs. Makeover: Shrimp and Grits

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen: Traditional Shrimp and Grits

4 cups water
1 cup stone-ground grits
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

[1] Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. [2] Rinse shrimp and pat dry. [3] Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain well. [4] In grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. [5] Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks: Makeover Barbecue Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients (Serves 4)
28 16/20 shrimp tail off, shelled, cleaned and deveined
1 cup clarified butter
1/2 cup Hudson’s Blackening Season or your favorite Cajun spice (Emeril’s Essence or Paul Prudhomme’s Blackening Season)
1 lemon, cut in half
1 cast iron skillet
Paper towel
Cheddar cheese grits (see recipe below)
Roasted corn relish (see recipe below)
Barbecue sauce (we use Sweet Baby Rays)
1 pound cooked andouille sausage, medium diced and seared in a skillet
1/2 cup green onions, chopped

[1] Place the cast iron skillet on top of the grill and heat. To achieve a proper sear, make sure the pan is extremely hot. While the skillet gets hot, take the 28 shrimp (seven per person) and pat dry. Make sure both sides are done. Line the shrimp on a dry plate. [2] Place the Hudson’s blackening spice and the clarified butter in separate small bowls. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. [3] To blacken/barbecue the shrimp: One at a time, take each shrimp and dredge it in the blackening spice, shaking off the excess. Then dip the shrimp in the clarified butter and place the shrimp in the skillet starting at the noon position. Place each new shrimp in order around the pan until all the shrimp are in the skillet. Hard sear the shrimp. [4] When the last shrimp is placed in the skillet, go back to the first and flip each shrimp in the same order. While the shrimp are still in the skillet, squeeze the juice of a half lemon over the shrimp. [5] Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain excess butter. Wipe the skillet clean. Make sure to get all the blackening spice out. Add a few drops of olive oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, place the diced sausage in the skillet and brown on all sides. Remove and place on a paper towel to remove excess grease and keep warm. [6] Portion four equal amounts of the cheese grits in the middle of each bowl. [7] Place shrimp in a circle on each bowl of grits. [8] Drizzle the barbecue sauce to taste on top of the shrimp. Place some of the seared andouille sausage in the middle of each circle of shrimp. Next, place some of the corn relish on top of the andouille sausage in the middle of each plate. Garnish each plate with the chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

Cheese Grits

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 cups water
1 cup stone ground grits
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

[1] Bring the water to a boil. Add the grits to the boiling water, stirring consistently. Cook the grits until they have no crunch or bite to them and the water is absorbed. [2] When the grits are cooked, add the cheese and heavy cream. Season the grits to taste with salt and pepper. Set the grits aside and keep warm.

Roasted Corn Relish

7 roasted or grilled corn on the cob
1/2 jalapeño, fine dice
1 1/2 tablespoons red onion, fine dice
1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper, fine dice
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste

[1] Roast the whole corn cobs with the husks at 400 degree for 20-25 minutes. You want the corn to be brown on the outside. [2] Clean the corn, removing the husks and strings. Cut the kernels off each cob and place them in a mixing bowl. [3] Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and incorporate. Season the relish with salt and pepper to taste.

Traditional vs. Makeover: Smoked Sausage

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen: Traditional Smoked Sausage

1 14-ounce package smoked sausage, diagonally cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups instant rice
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

[1] Heat olive oil and crushed garlic, stir in smoked sausage slices and cook until smoked sausage is browned. [2] Add pepper, onion, broccoli, chicken broth and tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and the liquid is absorbed. [3] Cook rice according to package instructions. [4] Stir rice into the skillet, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Local Pie: Makeover Shrimp Sausage

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 large egg, white only
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 pound lobster meat, cooked
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
30 inches of pork casing (optional)

[1] Put shrimp and egg white in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just combined, about 10 seconds. Do not over process or the shrimp will be tough when cooked. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, so that the shrimp firm up slightly. [2] After an hour, gently fold the cream into the shrimp, a little at a time. Cover and refrigerate for another 2 hours. [3] In a large bowl, combine the shrimp mousse with tarragon, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Gently stir together. [4] Fill pork casing according to the instructions that come with the equipment you are using. Twist or tie the casing every 6 inches to form each link. Make sure that the ends are tied shut. [5] In a shallow stock pot, bring water to a boil (5-6 inches), then reduce the heat to medium, and poach sausage for 5/6 minutes. Then remove sausage, repeat process with remaining sausages and then cool until final cooking or serving. Optional: Use a patty for shrimp burgers or shrimp meatballs, if sausage isn’t your thing.

Traditional vs. Makeover: Rice Pudding

LOCAL Life Test Kitchen: Traditional Rice Pudding

3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

[1] Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. [2] In a clean saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. [3] Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. [4] Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Enjoy!

Moss Creek: Makeover Carolina Plantation Brown Rice Pudding

2/3 cup Carolina Plantation brown rice
8 cups whole milk
Pinch sea salt
1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
Pinch cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely chopped
Green unsalted Sicilian pistachios, as needed
Shaved dark chocolate, as needed

[1] Combine rice, milk, and salt together in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir regularly with a heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. [2] In a separate bowl combine eggs, sugars, cinnamon, orange zest and almond extract. [3] Once mixture in the sauce pan begins to thicken and the rice is about halfway cooked (about 15-20 minutes), add the cherries. Continue to simmer until the mixture is thickening and rice is almost completely cooked. [4] Temper the egg mixture by adding small amounts of the hot rice mixture to it and stirring well until 1/3 of the rice mixture is in the bowl. [5] Once tempered, empty the contents of the bowl back into the sauce pan and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. [6] Empty the rice into a shallow casserole dish and allow to chill in a refrigerator. Note: Best served in champagne saucers or small bowls. Top with pistachios and chocolate shavings.

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