My colleague, Kathleen Purvis, wrote last month about how shrimp and grits was the ubiquitous Southern dish at the catered events during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
That got me thinking about how I recently broke my rule regarding shrimp and grits: I dont order it at restaurants.
My philosophy is that I dont order anything I can make better at home. Now Im not bragging about my shrimp and grits recipe since it isnt mine. The credit goes to Sheri Castle, a Chapel Hill cookbook author and cooking instructor. Her version is so good that Ive written before about how my family and friends request it so often that I dont visit them without packing the recipe in my suitcase.
Well, you know where this is going. I was on vacation at Ocracoke last month. Between the ocean air and the Yuenglings, I let my guard down and ordered the shrimp and grits at Dajio Restaurant. I was wooed by this phrase on the menu describing the dish: savory bacon gravy.
Im so glad I broke my rule. It was the best shrimp and grits I ever ordered at a restaurant. (My apologies to the late Bill Neal, who made the lowcountry dish famous at Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill.)
I called the restaurant and asked for the recipe. Chef Doug Eifert was gracious enough to share. Eifert runs Dajio with his wife, Judy. The couple owned a restaurant in Lexington, Ky., until 2009, when they fulfilled a dream and moved to Ocracoke. (The restaurants name stands for Doug and Judy in Ocracoke.)
Not only do I have a new shrimp and grits recipe to impress my family and friends, but I may just have to give up my rule.
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