Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday Shrimp & Grits

Is anybody else completely obsessed with "Uptown Funk"?

I can't help it. I'm hooked. It's basically been the thing that's getting me through this manic Monday!

But it's all good. Because you know what ELSE I'm currently hooked on?

Shrimp and grits.

Thaaaaaaat's right.

I'm cooking again!

Actually, I cook A LOT. I've just been really boring as of late.

So whether it's the 60+ -degree weather and sunshine we had this weekend, or just that I got tired of eating chicken, SOMETHING reallllly motivated me to get a little creative in the kitchen.

Okay let's face it - it was Pinterest.

I LOVE shrimp and grits. It's one of my favorite dishes to order when we go to legit seafood restaurants down on the Coast. Nobody does shrimp and grits like the South, people.

But I've never really attempted to make it myself. I've made a version or two with a few other fun ingredients added, but guess maybe I was just afraid it wouldn't be the same? Plus, when I want shrimp and grits, I REALLY WANT SHRIMP AND GRITS -- so to get all pumped about making it and eating it -- and then have it NOT turn out? Well, that's just heartbreaking.

But yesterday was different. Oh, so different. I'd found the recipe via Pinterest on Saturday night and it was all I could think about come Sunday morning. My tastebuds couldn't take it anymore, folks.

So, after church we threw some thinks in a skillet, cooked some grits, and hoped to goodness it would taste all right. And you know what?

It was a pretty fantastic recipe.

...although I'll spare you the horror of my photography skills, because it's really hard to make shrimp and grits look pretty with an iPhone camera and bad lighting ;)

You can find the original recipe here, courtesy of Southern Living Magazine (speak to my heart!), but I put my own spin on it below. It actually calls for very practical ingredients - I had basically everything on hand already except the shrimp.

Careful, though -- this dish is super filling! It's nice and cheesy and starchy and seafood-y all at once. And it's wonderful :)

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday Shrimp & Grits

((adapted from Southern Living Magazine))

Serves 4

What you'll need:

2 slices of turkey bacon
1 lb of medium-size shrimp (I used frozen, fully cooked, de-veined, tail-on shrimp)
1/4 cup flour (I used self-rising, and it worked fine)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (plus a little more, just in case)
garlic powder

1 cup Quick Grits
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded, mixed blend cheese (I used the "Pizza Blend")
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 slices Provolone cheese.
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of Tony's

What you'll do:

In a large, non-stick skillet, heat about a half tablespoon of oil to medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, then set the strips aside (drain on a paper towel if needed, but turkey bacon typically isn't very greasy). Do not clean the skillet.

Saute the mushrooms in the bacon drippings (if any), adding about a teaspoon more oil if needed (you can also add just a small pat of butter here). Sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cook until tender.

If needed, clean/defrost/de-vein/de-tail shrimp, then season with salt, pepper, and Tony's to taste. Dredge in flour, then add to skillet to cook with mushrooms.

When shrimp begin to brown, add chicken broth and season to taste. Let this mixture cook for about 5 minutes, then turn heat to low. This should be very gravy-ish, but not too liquid-y. If it gets too dry, add a little more broth until it reaches the right consistency.

Serve piping hot on top of grits.

For the grits:
Combine broth, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix in the grits a little at a time, stirring with a whisk. Once everything is combined, turn heat to low and let this cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thick.

When grits are fully cooked, add in the cheese and season slightly with Tony's as you stir.

Once everything is evenly combined, spoon grits into your bowl and top with mushroom and shrimp mixture. Crumble bacon on top and enjoy!

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