Pan-Roasted Georgia Shrimp with Red Mule Grits, Crispy Okra, and Toasted Georgia Peanuts
Yields Serves 6
By Tim Magee, White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, Atlanta
2 cups canola oil
¼ pound okra, trimmed and shaved thin
¼ cup Georgia olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons sweet onion, minced, divided
1 cup Red Mule grits
4 cups chicken stock
2 pounds large (size 16/20) Georgia Shrimp, unpeeled, with head and tail on
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup Georgia peanuts, toasted and unsalted, plus more for garnish
¼ cup ginger, peeled and julienne
1 tablespoon jalapeño, seeded and minced
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup good quality soy sauce
½ cup butter, ½-inch diced and chilled
In a 4-quart pot, heat canola oil to 350 degrees and add okra. Fry until golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried okra to a paper towel-lined bowl. Lightly season with kosher salt.
In a medium saucepot, heat 2 table-spoons olive oil over medium-low and add 2 tablespoons minced onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add grits and cook until they become fragrant. Turn heat to low and add chicken stock. Whisk often to ensure the grits don’t stick. Cook for about 45 minutes. Once liquid is absorbed, season with kosher salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
Peel and devein shrimp, putting the shells in a small stock pot. Wrap shrimp in paper towels and place in fridge until ready to cook. To shells, add wine, 1 cup water, and remaining onion. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Strain and set stock aside. (It should yield about one cup.)
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil and heat until almost smoking. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add peanuts, ginger, and jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more. Add shrimp stock, citrus juices, and soy sauce and simmer for 3 minutes or until shrimp are firm. Remove shrimp from pan and reduce liquid by half. Add in butter and cook until sauce is viscous and butter has emulsified, about 3 minutes more.
To serve, divide warm grits between 6 warm bowls. Top with equal portions of shrimp and drizzle with finished sauce. Scatter crispy okra and more toasted pea-nuts over top.
Chef Timothy Magee is the executive chef of White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and director of culinary development for Brewed to Serve Restaurant Group Inc. His emphasis is authentic Southern cuisine that focuses on seasonality and simplicity. He has cooked alongside world-renowned chefs via stages in New Orleans, such as at Bayona, Commander’s Palace, and Mr. B’s Bistro, and in New York at Gramercy Tavern, Babbo, Esca and Lupa. Magee offers his time to philanthropic culinary events including Share Our Strength, American Liver Foundation, The High Museum of Art and Project Open Hand to name a few and was most recently named a Georgia Grown Executive Chef for 2020 and 2021.
Wild Georgia Shrimp
Wild Georgia Shrimp grow in the coastal estuaries adjoining the Atlantic Ocean, not in man-made ponds. That means they never come in contact with chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, or residues. They are sustainably fished and often frozen at sea to preserve the unique, sweet flavor. For more, visit georgiagrown.com.
Georgia is the number one producer of peanuts in the US. A little-known fact: the peanut is not actually a nut, but a legume in the pea family. They’re heart healthy, a great source of protein, and can be a snack or a flavorful ingredient in many cultural cuisines. For more, visit gapeanuts.com.