As a chef your duty is to get to know the food you outsource as often as possible. Its important to trace your products to the source. Its important to get to know the hands tending to the products we consume daily. Only recently has this become a routine for me. I may have a recipie in mind that im dying to try, but if i go to the store and the ingredients dont look good, im going to make something else. Why make an apple pie when the apples have soft spots? Or make peach cobler without the perfect peaches? Shopping and eating seasonally has become one of the best habits i've formed in my life. That being said, every now and again ill stuble across amazing products from specialty companies that blow me away. Anson Mills is one of those companies. They specialize in reintroducing heirloom grains to the american palate. One of its most important projects in my opinion is Carolina Gold Rice. Please google this product or visit AnsonMills.com to purchase your own. Its the most full flavored rice I've ever cooked with and eaten. Its a product thats rich in flavor and history and can be traced back to 1685 with orgins from madagascar. Imagine the perfect bowl of rice to go with real southern staples like gumbo or grits to tie together that perfect shrimp & grits. I ordered a few products from Anson Mills and the first dish i made was Blue Shrimp and Grits.
This was the best version of this dish I could create with the products I could cource.
I used panceta and seafood stock with lots of lemon to make the plate shine. The Blue Grits were grown by Anson Mills and can be traced to the Cherokee Nation in the mountains of the Carolinas. I soaked themovernight to cut down my cooking time and finished them with butter at the very end. I'll have to post the recipe for you guys soon. Stay tuned you guys and let me know what you think about the dish!