Shad roe poached gently in cream and served over grits makes a delicious rich supper. Round out the dish with asparagus, whose season coincides with that of shad.
Pour the cream into a heavy sauté pan large enough to hold the sets of roe so that they do not overlap. Gently place the roe flat side down in the pan and bring the cream to a boil, gently shaking the pan so that the roe does not stick. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer the sets, uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally and turning the roe once during the cooking time, until they are cooked through and the cream has reduced to a thick sauce (about 10 to 15 minutes for 2 sets). If you are not sure if the roe is thoroughly poached, slice into it. It should be firm, but still slightly moist. If the roe is not cooked and the sauce is already thick, simply add a little more cream to the sauce and continue the cooking.
Place servings of hot creamy grits on warm plates, then gently remove the sets from the sauté pan to the plates. Correct the seasoning of the sauce with salt and pepper and pour the sauce over the roe and the grits.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by UNC Press.