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Trattner's Table for 2: Gatherings Kitchen in Lakewood with Mike Polk Jr.

We're switching things up and getting hands-on for this date night.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Planning a night out on the town? Looking to impress a hot date or loved one? Tired of hitting the same-old restaurants? In this feature, 3News food expert Doug Trattner lends a hand as he highlights a great place to visit. From temples of fine dining to hole-in-the-wall casual joints, these places all have a few things in common: excellent food, good service, and local ownership. So pull up a chair, order a beverage, and stay for the fun!

This week, Trattner took our Mike Polk Jr. out for something different. Instead of going to a restaurant, the two went to Gatherings in Lakewood for a cooking class. Since it was Mardi Gras, the instructor, chef Lloyd Foust, taught them how to prepare a Creole classic: Shrimp and Grits.

LOCATION: Gatherings Kitchen

ADDRESS: 17004 Madison Ave, Lakewood 

Gatherings Kitchen is part restaurant, part cooking class, and 100-percent fun. In addition to basic skills classes, the Lakewood kitchen offers weekly Supper Club cooking classes. Guests participate in two-hours of hands-on cooking and then enjoy the fruits of their labors during a sit-down, full-service, four-course dinner. The menu changes monthly and features seasonal specialties and international themes.

COOKING CLASS OPTIONS: Supper Club, Private Classes, Prep School

PRICE RANGE: $$$$(out of 5 $s)

TOP THREE REASONS TO VISIT: 

CHECK THEM OUT: Gatherings Kitchen

Shrimp & Andouille over Cheese Grits

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds large preferably head-on, 21 to 25 count shrimp, peeled and deveined (shells reserved)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 6 ounces andouille or other smoked sausage, cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced scallion (white and green parts)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup shrimp stock, chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. minced scallion greens
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan. While the butter melts, season the shrimp with the paprika, salt, and cayenne. Add the shrimp to the skillet and sear for 1 1/2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan and let it melt. Add the andouille and cook, stirring often, until much of the fat has rendered and the andouille is crisp, about 3 minutes.

Add the onion to the pan and sauté, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, shallots, and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, cook for 1 minute, then raise the heat to high and add the shrimp stock.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the sour cream to the pan and stir to combine. Return the shrimp to the pan, gently folding them into the liquid, and heat just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the Creamy Stone Ground Grits and sprinkle with the green portion of the scallions and the parsley. Serve the shrimp and grits hot.

Creamy Stone Ground Cheese Grits

Makes 4 servings

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated

To make the cheese grits, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and cook, stirring frequently so the grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If the grits absorb all of the water and milk during this time, just add a little hot water as needed to thin out the grits until they reach the desired consistency.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and the Cheddar cheese. Serve the cheese grits immediately or set aside for a little while and reheat over very low heat.

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