Stella’s Southern Bistro: Local Sure Tastes GOOD

 

 

Stella’s Southern Bistro offers cuisine inspired by the coastal Carolinas’ and the American South. They support regional food artisans and emphasize the importance of sourcing products harvested locally.

Stella’s is a great place to unwind, for a signature cocktail at the bar, or dinner in the dining room.  The delicious cuisine is the brainchild of Chef Jason Scholz. Chef Scholz has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Southern Living & The Food Network – just to mention a few!

Our owner, Dr. Marina, and office manager, Crystal, are huge fans of Stella’s Southern Bistro, and we really appreciate how they use local products, such as Happy Cow dairy, so we had to feature Stella’s on our blog.

Loving Local

Chef Scholz says that he builds his menu and sources his food based on an understanding of and appreciation for the fact that farms change by season. While this is not the cheapest way to run a restaurant, he believes it is the most ethical, healthy, and delicious way! Plus, the food looks better and has a smaller carbon footprint to boot.

“No other restaurant is doing what we’re doing in Simpsonville—or in very much of Greenville. And we’re able to have a parking lot [laughs], plus we’re more connected to the farming community.” – Chef Scholz

So he spends countless hours calling different farmers to find all the fresh, local ingredients he needs. He says he supports the local economy as much as he can because food that’s picked in the morning and served that night has no comparison (even the flowers on the table are local!). The farm-to-table approach is infinitely better than food shipped across the country.

Chef Scholz hopes he can encourage people to spend their money differently—to spend money somewhere that it’s going to go back into the local economy. He says that even when dining out at a restaurant other than Stella’s (but why would you!?), choose local over chains 100% of the time.

Fun fact: Stella’s is named after the family dog, a black lab who Chef Scholz says is “terribly misbehaved”—but supremely loved.

 

Taste of the Low Country

With traditional offerings like shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and more, Stella’s brings a taste of the Low Country to the Upstate. Chef Scholz says these recipes have stood the test of time for a reason. But his dishes have a little something special. When you make everything from scratch (no frozen foods here!) and use only the freshest ingredients, the taste is simply divine.

He kindly gave us a recipe for his infamous shrimp and grits to share with you so you can bring a bit of the Low Country to your own kitchen. Yum!

Stella’s Southern Bistro Signature Shrimp and Grits

Serves 6 people

Grits

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • ½ pound butter
  • 2 tbsp. salt

To Make Grits

Bring cream, milk, water and butter to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, stir in grits and salt and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often to prevent grits from sticking to bottom of pot. Keep warm.

 

Shrimp Ragout

  •  12 slices (thick) apple wood smoked bacon that has been baked at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the bacon is cooked but not crispy. Slice the bacon in to ¼ in pieces.
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper cooked
  • 36- 21/25 count (medium sized) shrimp, shells removed
  • 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 and ½ cups diced canned Roma tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup shrimp stock- preferably homemade, but bouillon will work

In a wide (14-16 inch) pan, add shrimp, bacon, tomatoes, Cajun spice, peppers, and shrimp stock. Cook on medium high heat until shrimp are nearly cooked 6-8 minutes. Add butter, and ½ of green onions, stir well, and cook until shrimp are done.

Divide Grits among 6 large deep bowls, top with 6 shrimp each. Pour remaining mix over top of shrimp then equally scatter remaining green onions for garnish.

Serve Immediately! Enjoy

For the Shrimp Stock

Save shrimp shells in a separate colander while peeling shrimp.

In a large pot heat 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, when oil is hot add shrimp shells and sauté until they turn pink.

Add ½ onion chopped, 1 celery stalk chopped, and 1 carrot chopped- sauté this mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Add a bay leaf, 4 black peppercorns, 2-3 sprigs of thyme and 1 tbsp. of tomato paste. Mix and sauté together for 3-5 minutes.

Add 1 cup white wine and stir, let the wine evaporate, add another cup of wine, stir and let evaporate also. Add 6 cups of water and let simmer about 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool a little, then blend and strain w/ a fine strainer.

Shrimp stock will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Stella’s Southern Bistro is located at 684-C Fairview Road in Simpsonville. For more information, contact 864-757-1212 or www.stellasbistro.com.

 

 

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