December 02, 2007

Shrimp & Grits


Ingredients:

for the grits:
4 cups shrimp stock
1 cup stone-ground grits* (not instant)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

for the shrimp:
1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled
3 slices raw bacon, chopped
2/3 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large bunch green onions, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:
In a medium pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the grits and stir continually** for about 10 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in both cheeses. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, then drain on a paper towel, set aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet. Add the shrimp and saute for 1 minutes, then add the garlic, lemon juice and celery. Cook until almost totally pink and cooked through, then add the spinach and green onions. Cook 2 additional minutes or until the shrimp is totally cooked and the whole mixture is hot.

To serve: arrange some grits on a plate, top with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with the leftover bacon bits (optional) and serve hot.


*If you can't find grits, try substituting some stone ground polenta. Polenta is made with golden corn and grits with white corn (or hominy or a combination of the two) but they are very similar. Purists might tell you different, but if it is a matter of not making the recipe due to a lack of grits and you have polenta-use the polenta.


**Well, fairly continually anyway, you don't want lumps. The trick is to have all of you ingredients ready to go, so while you are making the grits, you can make the shrimp part at the same time with minimal interruption to your stirring. Or better yet, draft someone to stir while you do the rest.

My thoughts:
Grits are not something I grew up eating, but after having them a few times, I was hooked. Even though Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon, it isn't exactly grits country. You can find them on the shelves without much trouble, but they are not a staple like they are just a few states away. For this recipe, I combined all of my favorite ways to eat grits: under shrimp and cheesy into one perfect meal. I added more vegetables that I've typically found in shrimp grits to make it more of a complete meal, but I think that both those new to grits and devotees will be satisfied. The grits are cheesy but not so much that they overpower the delicate shrimp. You can skip the whole bacon part but it really does add a smoky flavor that is wonderful. Just saute the shrimp in a little olive oil instead. I will say that not only is it an exceptionally tasty dish, that despite the cheese and the bacon, it is very light tasting meal.

14 comments:

  1. I looove grits. Particularly when there's cheese in them. My brother bought me some Anson Mills from Atlanta that I might have to pull out sometime this week!

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  2. I like grits, after tasting them at a friends home for breakfast, I become hooked. I make them at least once a month for breakfast.

    I love that you added shrimp, it brings a different perspective - and I may just have to try it.

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  3. I recently started dating a southern boy, and he loves grits. I myself have never had much experience with them so this will come in handy for winning some cool girlfriend points.

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  4. Aaayyy! Shrimp and grits! I have a friend who told me about this dish and I so want to try it. My husband doesn't think he likes grits :), and he's not all that fond of shrimp, either, so I've hesitated. But he's away this week, so maybe I'll just cook some up and eat it all myself! This looks like a great recipe and I'm going to pass it along to my Southern-girl friend.

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  5. I wish I could make this at home.... I looooooooove shrimp paired with grits.... but my husband doesn't like them or polenta.... UGH!

    This looks dreamy...

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  6. This sounds so delicious and comforting. I'm in Maryland also, and like you, grits are not something that I ate as a child - but I've gotten to love them.

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  7. What was your source of shrimp stock?

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  8. Anon: I made it. The technique is similar to making chicken or veggie stock, but using the shrimp shells/heads instead of a carcass.

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  9. I'm from Charleston, SC and although this recipe isn't exactly like the ones down here, it still looks great and quite a bit simpler to make! I'll have to give it a try. If you ever make it down here you should try the Shrimp and Grits at Magnolia's restaurant.

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  10. Mmm... Reminds me of my honeymoon in South.

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  11. What a clever recipe! I've only had grits by itself, but never as part of a main dish.

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  12. this is becoming such a popular recipe... i have to learn how to make it! yours looks great.

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  13. I love shrimp & grits! and i love the twist of adding more veggies in the mix. I'll have to try it with spinach next time I make it.

    JMom

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  14. I am GRITS... girl raised in the south... lol.. and I love love love shrimp and grits. It's important to not use instant grits though. Most of the time when people say they don't like grits they've only had them on some horrid buffet line somewhere. Stone ground grits will be super creamy but they're harder to find. As long as you aren't cooking them in 60 seconds or less you'll get delicious results.

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