Chef Nora Dunning’s Drip Line Shrimp and Grits

From the story Nora Dunning at Drip Line by Alix Wall

Make the sambal ahead. You’ll have enough for multiple servings of this dish, which is a favorite among Drip Line customers.

Photo by Alix Wall

Serves 4

For the sambal
3 large shallots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6 Fresno peppers, roughly chopped
3 chile de árbol, soaked in hot water, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste), optional
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Blend shallots, garlic, ginger, peppers, and belacan (if using) in an electric blender to paste consistency. Heat cooking oil over medium-low to medium heat and sauté chile paste until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add tamarind paste, salt, and sugar to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, until paste has turned a darker red, 15–20 minutes. (Oil may separate, and that’s OK.) Set aside to cool.

For the coconut grits
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarse yellow or white grits
1 cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Bring water and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add grits gradually and begin stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently until all the water has absorbed and grits have thickened. Slowly stir ½ cup coconut milk into the grits and continue stirring so grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir in remaining ½ cup of coconut milk and ground white pepper and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and grits have thickened. About 10–15 minutes.

16 shelled shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper
Cooking oil
Sambal, to taste (about 1–4 tablespoons)
½ cup coconut milk
Fried egg (optional)

Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté shrimp for about 1 minute. Stir in sambal and coconut milk. Continue cooking until shrimp are bright pink and opaque, about another 1 minute.

Serve sambal shrimp over hot grits. Add a fried egg, if you like, and garnish with microgreens.