Thursday, February 10, 2011

We're back!

And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging! Well, "regularly scheduled" may be used a bit loosely here. Still, onward and upward! The finger is nearly healed, to the point that the only reminder will be my strange fingerprint. I guess if I had any hopes of a life of crime, they're over now. I think my prints will be pretty identifiable. I'm already attempting to turn the winter blues into some great time in the kitchen. I have a ton of recipes backed up that I can't wait to share!

I thought I would start with this amazing, Southern classic of a meal I made quite successfully for the hubs and I. I realized some time ago that shrimp and grits would be a great dish for the two of us to enjoy. I don't believe that I had ever eaten grits in any form before this. But adding it up... shrimp + ground corn + cheese + bacon... didn't seem like anything I could possibly dislike.

I think what took me so long to make this recipe was that there are a million different versions that can have quite a long list of ingredients. I wanted to enjoy the recipe in a basic form the first time so that I could determine what other vegetables or flavors would add something positive. Enter Pat Conroy. One of my favorite authors, who wrote a cookbook that I received (and gave!) as a present from (and to!) my mom this year. You know what the funny thing is? This recipe is so good I'm pretty sure that next time I won't even add anything.

The only changes I made were to add cheese to the grits and scallions as a garnish - because everything is better with those two ingredients. Sorry for the fact that I only took one photo, these came together too quickly!

Shrimp and Grits
adapted from Pat Conroy's Recipes of My Life

1 c. coarse white grits (I used yellow; it was what I could find)
1 - 1 1/2 c. white cheddar cheese, grated
2 slices bacon, cut into matchsticks
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. lemon juice
kosher salt, to taste
2 - 3 drops of hot sauce
3 - 4 scallions, sliced

Slow-cook the grits according to package directions. When cooked add the grated cheese and stir until blended. Keep warm, but set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, but leave the drippings. Set the bacon aside. Next, add the shallot and cook until softened but not brown. Add the butter, and when it's melted, add the shrimp. Make sure you do not cook the shrimp until the grits are ready. When the shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes, add a pinch of salt and the lemon juice.

Serve about 1/2 c. of grits on each plate and top with shrimp. Add the reserved bacon back to the pan along with the hot sauce and swirl to create a thin sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and grits and top with the scallions.

Bask in the praise of your adoring spouse/friend/family member!


  1. That looks so good! I've been wanting to find an easy, basic recipe for s&g. Will def try this!

  2. Hooray for Pat Conroy! & when all else fails, you can always just read the cookbook! Hmmmm, Pat Conroy's writing + food = a truly enjoyable interlude!

  3. Carrie, it is so easy and worth it! Let me know what you think.

    Mom, it sure is a fantastic combination!

  4. o I am SO excited!!!! I love shrimp and grits and you are correct there are so many different recipes it is overwhelming to know where to start. can't wait to make this dish

  5. Well do enjoy, and keep me posted!