Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Day...with a Southern twist

It's been a while since I've blogged, so I'm doing two posts today to make up for it. And I couldn't resist sharing this recipe. It's one of our most favorite. The first time I had this dish, I was in South Carolina visiting a friend. It's not a dish I would normally try, but I couldn't resist fresh shrimp. You could actually watch the shrimping boats while sitting in the restaurant. When I went on this trip, Ryan and I had just started dating. As soon as I got home, I told him about this amazing dish and his response was "When are you going to make it for me." I knew he was made for me if he was interested in shrimp and grits:) We've actually made this dish so many times, that we've created our own twist on the recipe. This one is from our kitchen:)

Shrimp and Grits

1 lb shrimp, peeled
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
6 slices bacon
1 cup grits
2 cups water
14.5 oz chicken broth
3/4 cup whipping cream or half and half
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
ground white pepper

We usually use frozen raw shrimp. Once thawed, shell the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Let sit.

Bring water, chicken broth, whipping cream and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add 1 cup grits and stir until mixed. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once grits have thickened and liquid is reduced, add butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. If we don't have cheddar cheese on hand, we will use whatever we have.

While grits are cooking, fry bacon. Ryan usually chops the bacon before cooking. Easier than crumbing afterwards:) Remove bacon from grease and drain. Reserve a small amount of the bacon grease. Add onions, green onions, garlic, mushrooms, dash of white pepper, and saute until tender. Add shrimp and cook until done.

Serve shrimp mixture over grits. Top with bacon. Southern perfection:)

I can't believe I'm doing this, but there are several variations. If you happen to be one of those people who doesn't like shrimp, there are several meat substitutions. Ground sausage, sliced sausage, sliced steak, or chicken would all work. But shrimp is the best:) As for the substitutions there. I used to be very opposed to grits, but cheese grits are heaven on earth. If you don't believe me, try them.


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