Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shrimp & Grits -- with an Italian Flair!

I thought I would try my own spin on this Southern dish. I made it for Michael tonight and he loved it -- he said it was better than the Shrimp & Grits at Tupelo Honey Cafe. I don't exactly remember the measurements of the ingredients but I will try to approximate. This was a very economical dish; I found 12-0z packages of shrimp at Bi-Lo for $2.99 (I had to peel and devein them myself but it was worth it). I estimate that the entire dish cost about $4.00 for 2 people. I added a salad made with romaine lettuce from our garden to round out the meal; it was pretty delish. I also used some onions from the garden which were quite pungent, but mellowed out just fine when cooked. Here's the recipe:

The Grits:
3/4 cup regular grits (I don't like the quick grits but I guess they would work okay)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

The Shrimp:
12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used medium shrimp)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring water to boil in a saucepan for the grits; add salt. Slowly add grits and bring heat down to a slow simmer; cover the pan. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grits are soft but not soupy.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook slowly for about 5 minutes until the onion is lightly browned and tender (if it dries out add a little more oil). Add the garlic and saute for another minute -- make sure it doesn't burn. When the onion and garlic is cooked, scoop out about 1/2 of the mixture and set aside (you will add this to the grits). Add a touch more oil, then add the shrimp; sprinkle the Old Bay and the paprika over the shrimp and saute just until the shrimp turn pink - about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the shrimp, cover the pan and take it off the burner.

Add the reserved onions and garlic to the cooked grits, as well as the butter and the grated cheese; stir until everything is incorporated. To serve, spread the grits on a serving platter, then pile the shrimp mixture on top of the grits. Top with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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