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let’s grit it on

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I have this thing.  (No good conversations start like this, but this is good, I promise.)  I love food.  That’s a given.  But I also have….dreams about food?  Maybe not even so much dreams as I just wake up, thinking about food.  One day it was strawberries.  Another, sour cream.  Last week, I shot up in bed, with one very delicious, very specific dish in mind:  shrimp and grits.  But not just any grits.

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I have a bag of polenta that’s just been begging to be used, so it was decided that I had to make shrimp and polenta, ASAP.

And what do you know?  I had everything I needed!

  • 6 oz medium shrimp (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 c polenta
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 oz reduced fat cheese, separated
  • 3 strips bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  • parsley (I used dried, but fresh would be best)
  • lemon juice

Here’s how it all went down. (Disclaimer: It’s ridiculously simple.)  Boil the water, and then pour in the polenta.

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Bring back down to a simmer, and cook around 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in butter.

Spray a large non-stick skillet (I used my Misto!) and then heating it over medium heat.  Place the bacon in the pan and cook until crisp, flipping as needed.

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Remove the bacon, and leave it on a paper towel to drain excess grease.

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Toss (thawed) shrimp into the same pain you cooked the bacon in, spritzing with oil if necessary.  Add in about two tsp of lemon juice and some parsley.

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Cook the shrimp until heated through.

Turn your attention back to the grits.  Slowly heat back up and add one ounce of the cheese.  Divide the grits between two bowls, top with remaining cheese, crumbled bacon and shrimp.  Maybe even a shake or two of parsley for good measure.  Oh, and chopped green onions.

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This was so awesome!  Just what I was imagining.  Fun fact:  When my cousin was married, she and her husband had a simple reception with just a few foods they really loved—including a shrimp and grits “bar.”  There were plastic martini glasses waiting to be filled with grits and topped with all the fixings.  It was a nice personal touch.  She’s from Georgia and her husband, South Carolina, so it suited them very well.

Do you ever get food visions?  Is there a regional dish that’s special to your area?  Most people outside of the South had never even heard of grits, let alone eat them (think My Cousin Vinny). Oddly enough, even though I grew up here, I’ve not always been down with the grits; I just started eating them within the last few years.

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