Real Food for Real Life

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No time to cook (much)...

Jury duty and scouts on Monday, and scout activities of some sort all day yesterday have not left much time for cooking.  Monday night I cooked up some pasta and tossed a salad to accompany the leftover spicy stuffed peppers, while last night we had our own version of the Double Decker Taco, accompanied with a simply seasoned rice.  Ben did note that he really liked the "taco meat."  I used ground pork instead of the usual ground turkey and he thought it more flavorful (although Chris said he liked the "regular" meat better).
With not much real cooking happening here I am going to share an old favorite that I really want to get in the recipe file, Shrimp and Grits. This southern comfort food combines shrimp and bacon over a creamy base of super rich grits...who could ask for more?  Look soon for another southern favorite, Low Country Boil.



Shrimp and Grits

1 lb. med. to large shrimp, peeled & deveined, shells reserved
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups shrimp or chicken stock
4 tbs. butter
1 cup quick cooking grits
3 tbs. lemon juice
coarse salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
6 thick slices of bacon, thinly sliced or small dice
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped
1/2 of a small red bell pepper, thinly sliced or a small dice

Place the reserved shells in a small saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain the liquid into a measuring cup and add enough stock to make 1 1/2 cups total.
Bring the cream, water, stock, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil.  Slowly add the grits, stirring constantly so that they do not stick or clump.  Reduce the heat to med-low and cook until thick and creamy, and all the liquid is absorbed.  If they are too thick, or are not quite creamy and tender once the liquid is absorbed, add a bit more water or stock.
Sprinkle the shrimp with the lemon juice and some salt and pepper, set aside.  In a large saute pan, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crispy; remove to a paper towel using a slotted spoon, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.  Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper to the reserved fat; saute until the onion is soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and bacon, saute until the shrimp are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes; remove immediately from the heat so as to not overcook the shrimp.  To serve, portion the grits onto individual plates or shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and bacon mix.  Eat.  Enjoy.

7 comments:

  1. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    I've had that jamieson and ginger driink but they called it a "big ginger" I cant for the life of me learn to like grits, probably because they were forced on me when I lived in Texas for a while as a child...that and black eyed peas :)
    Wed at 2:40pm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mary S. on Facebook said:
    I didn't experience grits or black eyed peas (these are ok, but not a favorite) until an adult and cooking for myself. What we did eat a lot of as kids was ravioli from a can (vomit!!), fried potatoes, and corn meal mush (I add a few extra ingredients and call it polenta now :) I don't remember you going to Texas- when was that?
    Yesterday at 11:49am

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mary S. on Facebook said:
    I didn't experience grits or black eyed peas (these are ok, but not a favorite) until an adult and cooking for myself. What we did eat a lot of as kids was ravioli from a can (vomit!!), fried potatoes, and corn meal mush (I add a few extra ingredients and call it polenta now :) I don't remember you going to Texas- when was that?
    Yesterday at 11:49am

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    It was summer after 3rd grade and. Came back in jan or feb my 4th grade year. It was galveston tx. We ate fried potatoes soup beans n corn bread at least once a week. :)
    Yesterday at 11:57am

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mary S. on Facebook said:
    oh yes, the ubiquitous soup beans and corn bread, had nearly blocked those out (when I make beans now, it's because we like them, not just as cheap eats :)
    Yesterday at 12:24pm

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    haha. Now girl, you gettin above ya raisin'?? I like them every now and then...The hillbilly stuff I like the best is when my mom used to make fresh green beans and new potatoes from the garden..We always had corn bread and usually fried pork chops with it. YUMMY I think m arteries are probably still corroded with 18 years of eating foods cooked in bacon fat at my grandparents :)
    Yesterday at 1:50pm

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mary S. on Facebook said:
    Fried green tomatoes...love um, wish Ben did. We have however, restarted the tradition of keeping bacon grease, BUT...it is used in moderation and in only a handful of dishes AND it is kept in a pretty jar in the fridge, not in an old can on the counter (was that every really safe ?)
    Yesterday at 3:07pm

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