Shrimp and Grits with Dominic the Fodd Reviewer – Recently, here in Milwaukee, I met a young man named Dominic the Food Reviewer. He does only positive food reviews. Dominic must be doing something right because he has 15,000 followers on his Facebook page. He also has a YouTube channel and a recently launched website (https://dominiceats.com/)
I was invited to join Dominic, his mom, and dad Annie & Matt, on an excursion to Maxie’s Southern, here in Milwaukee. Dominic was going to do a restaurant review and I was going to interview Dominic and recreate something delicious off the Maxie’s menu.
Dominic was treated like royalty. They had a table reserved for us in the front of the restaurant in the window, he met the chef, Jacob Schick, who prepared a feast for us to sample. Five appetizers, five main courses, and 2 desserts. People stopped at our table and told Dominic how much they enjoyed his reviews. It was a very cool evening, to be in the company of a celebrity.
So, at the beginning of this video, I’ll show you some of the incredible dishes that we were served, my interview with Dominic at Maxie’s, and a summary from both of us at the end. Then I am going to recreate Maxie’s stellar Shrimp & Grits.
As a special surprise, Dominic the Food Reviewer joined me to taste the Shrimp & grits that I recreated from Maxie’s Southern in Milwaukee. Dominic helped finish the dish by cooking the shrimp with me.
Recreating Maxie’s Shrimp and Grits
To recreate this classic dish, the first step is to make the sauce, saute pancetta, red onion, garlic, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, and some white wine. Add some clam juice, chipotle in adobo sauce, and heavy cream for a next-level sauce.
The second step would be to make the grits. In a combination of water, milk, and cream, add butter, salt, and pepper, along with your yellow grits.
To finish, saute some andouille sausage and some peeled and deveined shrimp. Top with fresh chives and you have a great recipe for Shrimp and Grits.
Maxie’s Southern Restaurant in Milwaukee
Maxie’s Southern in Milwaukee (https://maxiesmke.com/) likes to say that “Our Southern inspiration includes “Low Country” cooking of the Carolinas, Creole, and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, traditional slow-smoked Southern BBQ, and southern comfort cooking of all kinds”.
Maxie’s opened its doors on May 5th, 2007, serving Southern-inspired “from-scratch” cooking. Maxie’s is located in the old Vespalec family grocery store and Gerry O’Brien’s Meat Market at the corner of 68th Street and Fairview Avenue.
Maxie’s features a raw bar serving fresh oysters and shrimp flown in 5 days a week from some of the best fish purveyors on the East Coast. Their bar offers a great selection of quality wines, micro-brewed and imported beers, and top-shelf liquors. Maxie’s serves from a whiskey list of 125 selections, including rare and ultra-premium bourbons and ryes. Milwaukee’s Happiest Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m. with $1 fresh-shucked oysters!
What is the difference between Creole and Cajun Shrimp and Grits?
The easiest way to explain the differences between the two is that Creole food typically uses tomatoes and tomato-based sauces while most Cajun food does not. Cajun recipes use garlic powder, onion, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper.
What To Serve With Shrimp And Grits
Shrimp and grits is a tasty Cajun/Southern dish that people enjoy all over the country. But what can you serve with it to make your meal even better?
Here are some things I would suggest for side dishes to serve with shrimp and grits:
Collard greens, biscuits, sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, cornbread, green beans & potatoes, lima beans, baked potatoes, wedge salad, fried okra, succotash, or coleslaw.
For the Sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 oz pancetta small dice (or tasso ham)
- 1 medium red onion small dice
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp dry white wine
- 3/4 cup clam juice/better than bouillon
- 1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce finely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the grits
- 1.5 cups water
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3/4 cup yellow grits not instant
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 andouille sausage medium dice
- 1 lb medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
For the Sauce
- Heat the vegetable oil and sauté ham or pancetta over medium heat, until the meat is crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook about 4 minutes until softened.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and paprika, and stir until evenly incorporated.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, and a coating forms on the bottom of the pan, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook, until nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds.
- Add the clam juice, bouillon cube, and chipotle and whisk, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the cream, whisk to combine, and cook about 2 mins.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the Grits
- Combine the water, milk, cream, butter, salt, and pepper in a med pan over med heat and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the grits and bring to a simmer again.
- Cook, without stirring, until the grits float to surface, about 1-2 minutes.
- Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit until all the moisture has been absorbed at least 10 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth, taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Whisk in additional milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.
- Set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon, put the sausage to a small bowl, and set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until just pink, about 1-2 minutes (the shrimp will not be fully cooked).
- Add the reserved sauce, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is bubbling and the shrimp are fully cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- To serve, divide the reserved grits among 4 bowls, top with the shrimp and sauce, and garnish with the reserved sausage and chives.
Cooking Secrets for Men
We were featured in “Milwaukee Magazine” May 2023 edition, called “Civic Gastronomy”. Here is the link – https://www.milwaukeemag.com/this-cooking-show-features-milwaukee-community-leaders/.
Then a few days later, they were discussing me on the radio. It is a local Foodie show – “This Bites”, where my series “Cooking with Milwaukee Community Leaders” is discussed (it’s in the first few minutes of the show) https://radiomilwaukee.org/podcast/this-bites/2023-05-26/milwaukee-celebrity-cooking-show.
If you like these recipes for Shrimp and Grits, then you should try our recipe for Gumbo for Mardi Gras.
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