The Fish House’s World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya

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Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you have an exciting day planned.  If you’re anything like me and wait until the last minute to make plans, this recipe is a winner for Mother’s Day brunch or dinner!

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The Fish House in Pensacola, FL has, without a doubt, one of the best versions of Shrimp & Grits that I’ve ever eaten.  I have tried many different takes on this traditional Southern dish, but the World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya is my absolute favorite so far.  

This award winning dish has been featured on numerous food and travel shows and has earned the praises of some pretty noteworthy people.  Thankfully, Chef Jim Shirley is generous enough to share his famous recipe!  

My first experience at The Fish House was in 2009 just after moving to the area.  I had the Grits a Ya Ya and couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  As soon as I got home that night, I looked for the recipe online and was surprised to find the actual recipe–not just a copy cat! Since then, I’ve recreated this dish many times and am always super happy with the results–this take on Shrimp & Grits is definitely a family favorite.    

I have made a few small modifications–for instance, once I accidentally ended up with instant grits and was worried that they would ruin the whole dish. Luckily, they actually worked out well and cut down on time, so I still use them for this recipe from time to time. (I know, I know–no true Southerner or serious cook uses instant grits!!!) Also, I use extra sharp white cheddar instead of smoked gouda due to a recent allergy/sensitivity to the cheese used in Chef Shirley’s original recipe.  Finally, I sometimes use half-and-half instead of heavy cream because it’s something I usually have on hand and it does lighten the dish up a little.

One important tip:  make sure you get the freshest shrimp possible in your area.  I use headless, tail-on fresh/never frozen gulf shrimp.  If you don’t have gulf shrimp in your area, try to find the freshest shrimp available to you.

Normally, I would detail each step of the recipe here, but I’ll simply leave you with the official link above and a few cooking pics.  This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together really well at home! 

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I hope you enjoy this dish! It is so creamy and flavorful and pretty much perfect!  It’s truly one of my favorites.  

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below! You can also hit me up on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa or follow me on Pinterest!  

Whatever you do today, I hope you get to spend time with the special ladies in your life! 

Cheers!

 

Beer-Braised Ribs

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Happy Friday! I’m so glad it’s the weekend and it looks like the weather will be perfect for barbecuing.  

And I’ve got an awesome recipe for a weekend gathering.

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My husband is the grill master in our family and after a lot of tinkering with different techniques and recipes, we finally came up with this fail-proof method for delicious, tender ribs.  The combination of braising the ribs in beer and then grilling them results in super moist and flavorful meat that your friends and family will rave about.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Ribs & Braising Sauce:

2 racks of pork ribs (spare or baby back will work)

1 cup of beer 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tsp honey

1 tsp garlic power

 

For the Rub: 

8 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tbsp kosher salt

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp thyme

First, measure out the spices for the rub and mix them together in a small bowl.

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Next, prep the ribs.  I used 2 racks that weighed about 3 lbs total.  You can use pork spare ribs or baby backs with this method.  Beef ribs might also work, but I haven’t personally tested this recipe using beef ribs.  

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First, you’ll need to remove the thin membrane that covers the under side of the ribs.  This may seem daunting at first, but it’s really not. It can be done easily using a paring knife and there are lots of YouTube tutorials showing how to remove it quickly.  Once you’ve done this, place the ribs on a sheet pan and rub them down liberally with the spice mixture.  

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Be sure to coat the ribs entirely with a generous amount of the rub.  Any remaining rub can be saved in a sealed container or ziplock bag for future use.  

Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  The longer, the better here. 

Next, preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  

Now it’s time to mix up your braising sauce.  

The secret to this recipe is the beer.  We’ve tested a lot of different beers with this recipe and have found that a brown ale works best.  For this batch I used a local-ish beer from a brewery in Gadsden, AL.  Back Forty Beer Company’s Truck Stop Honey was an excellent compliment to the pork and is definitely a keeper for this recipe.  This brown ale is smooth and really great for drinking even if you’re not barbecuing!  I also used raw gallberry honey that I picked up from a local beekeeper at the farmer’s market.

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Mix 1 cup of the beer with apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, honey and garlic powder.  

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Wrap each rack of ribs in foil, and add 1/2 of braising sauce to each packet.  

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Seal the packets up so that no braising liquid will run out during cooking and place on sheet pans.

 

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Place the ribs in preheated oven and allow to braise for about 2 1/2 hours.  

Just before ribs are ready to be pulled from the oven, prep your grill.

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Remove the foil packets from the oven, open them up and place onto the grill.

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Once a majority of the braising sauce has evaporated and the ribs begin to caramelize slightly on top, remove the foil and place the ribs directly onto the grill to finish.

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Grill ribs until they reach desired color and texture.  Finish by brushing on BBQ sauce if desired.

Remove and slice into portions.

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I served these ribs with a traditional southern potato salad.  It’s just five simple ingredients: potatoes, mustard, light mayo, onions and dill relish. 

Tip: My mom’s rule of thumb for judging how much to make is to use 2 potatoes per person and then add one more “for the pot.”  Adjust the remaining ingredients depending on how many potatoes you use and according to your own personal taste.  

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To make the potato salad, boil the potatoes, mash slightly, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Add a dash of salt and pepper then chill until ready to serve.Image  Image

 

Beer-braised ribs paired with this potato salad are ideal for a spring picnic or barbecue.  Invite some friends over and enjoy some drinks and games while the ribs are cooking.  Trust me, they are worth the wait!

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  You can email me at misformimosa@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa. 

Whatever you do, I hope you have a safe and fun-filled weekend!

Cheers!