Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Disclaimer:  The following recipe is NOT my original creation.  I am simply showing you the steps I took to make it and I hope to provide you with an easy delicious dinner solution.

So tonight for dinner (even though it was supposed to be Saturday) I made Shrimp and grits for the first time.  I had a cannister of quick-cooking grits in the pantry that I bought one day on a whim.  Being as Hubby and I are trying to clean out our pantry before a possible move, I knew I needed to use them.  I searched google for a shrimp and grits recipe and the first one I found sounded delicious.  The recipe is from the Food Network's website.

The steps sounded incredibly easy so I thought it would be a great recipe to share!  

2nd Disclaimer:  Hubby and I are trying to save money so I used some ingredients that many cooks would NEVER use.  You have to do what works for YOU.

First, the all-star lineup!  Role Call:

  • 4 cups water

**instead of water I would have preferred to use chicken stock but I didn't have any.  I added some powdered chicken bouillon to give it a little flavor. (This is NOT in the original recipe).  

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits

**I only had quick cooking grits but because you cook the grits separately from the shrimp, this doesn't really matter.

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


**This was a large block of mild cheddar that I shredded all the way and took out two cups.  Now I have shredded cheese ready for another meal.  The recipe calls for sharp cheddar.  After eating the grits, it was VERY cheesy.  I would use mild again.

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Now, this is important.  Hubby and I are on a very tight budget and this recipe calls for a whole pound of shrimp which would be the whole bag.  I divided the bag into three different portions and froze the other two bags to use in the future for shrimp alfredo and BBQ Shrimp.  If you make this at home and 
use the whole bag, you will have three times more shrimp that I had.    

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice

**I had this on hand so I didn't want to use our precious grocery budget to buy a lemon.  

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

**Again, I didn't have real parsley on hand so I used dried.  When you convert a recipe from real herbs to dried herbs, divide by three (so I used 2 teaspoons.)

  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions

**A Cup sounded like a lot so I thinly sliced 2 scallions and it was plenty.

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

Again, didn't have real garlic, so I rehydrated 1/4 teaspoon of dried minced garlic.  All of these additions were fine, the meal was delicious but I know some people aren't comfortable using dried herbs and spices.
Now before I go on, I want to say that usually when I cook the kitchen is a disaster area and I wanted to prevent this so I asked myself: What can I do ahead to prep so that I can wash up some dishes as I go?  (Something my mother always told me to do but I didn't really know how.)  Some of the things I did were to cut up the bacon with my kitchen shears, fry it up, and drain it on paper towels.  I thawed and rinsed the shrimp, dried it, and peeled it.  I shredded a whole large block of cheddar cheese and just took out the two cups I needed for this recipe.  I sliced up the green onions, and rehydrated the garlic.  

Okay back to the recipe!

Bring the water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. I added 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and few shakes of the powdered chicken bouillon.  

Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Now, if you watch the video attached to the recipe on the Food Network's website, she tells you that immediately when you pour in the grits, you need to whisk, whisk, whisk!  If the grits clump up, they're not coming apart.  Because I was cooking quick-grits, it only took about 8 minutes with the lid on the pan as apposed to the 20-25 minutes the recipe suggests.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned (I did this first); drain well on paper toweling while you prepare everything else. 

In grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink. **The oil bubbles up like butter and splatters a lot so be careful!! Its also important not to overcook shrimp as they can get tough.  As soon as they're pink and curled up, move on to the next step**

Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
I forgot to take a picture of this, sorry. 

Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

I served this with sugar snap peas.

This meal was delicious, but VERY rich.  I'm glad I didn't use the whole bag of shrimp.  The bacon is more than enough protein.  I hope you enjoy this, now I'm off to finish up the kitchen and shine my sink.  Stay tuned for my non-negotiable post for this week!  I'm also very excited for Menu Plan Monday tomorrow!

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