Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spicy Shrimp and Grits

I have always loved Southern food and since moving to Florida, I have been surrounded by it.  Yes, I know a majority of it is awful for you so I stay away from most of it.  But my family is a HUGE fan of grits and a dish I had been dying to try was shrimp and grits.  So, I went on a search for recipes.  It took a while but I did find one that wasn't too bland or complicated.  You know, me I didn't follow the recipe exactly but I did stick pretty close.  This recipe fed my family of four perfectly but the amounts could easily be adjusted up or down.

For the grits:

1 1/2 cups quick cooking grits (Yes, I know Alton Brown would have my head but it's what I had on hand.)
4 1/2 cups of chicken stock (I use low fat/low sodium.  I'm sure you could also use water)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used low fat Mexican but you could use whatever you like)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Shrimp:

1 lb. shrimp (I used 31/40's)
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a small sweet onion
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 cup white wine (I used chardonnay.  Beer or stock would work too)
Olive oil
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Spice mix:

1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (You can adjust this to taste)
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (This can also be adjusted to taste)
1 tsp. salt.

In a medium sized saute pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom.  Heat the oil over medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery, onion and jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper.

After about 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes more.

 Add the spice mix.

Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices being careful not to let them burn. The onion should be translucent and the other veggies should be soft.

While the veggies are cooking, you can start the grits by heating the stock in a saucepan over high heat.

As the stock heats up, add the wine to the softened veggies and bring to a boil.

Once the wine comes to a boil, add the shrimp, lime juice and parsley.  Stir until the shrimp and incorporated.

Lower the heat to medium low and cover.  While the shrimp cook, slowly whisk the grits into the stock.  Lower the heat to medium low and cook the grits for 5 minutes.  Add the grated cheese at the end of the cooking time and stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the grits into a bowl and serve the shrimp and sauce over the top.

I was surprised at how easy and good this recipe was.  It was a hit with the entire family and it will definitely go into the meal rotation.

Adapted from My Husband Cooks.

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