Shrimp and Grits
The real reason I went to BlogHer12 this year wasn’t for the seminars, the free booze, or the hotel view. Getting to see a handful of bloggers I adore was definitely a big draw, as was the free place ticket I got with miles, but the real reason was because I have family in New York.
For many people just a couple of hours with relatives and they are DONE, but with my aunt and uncle it seems like whatever time we spend together is never enough.
When I was just a tiny girl my uncle taught me some of life’s most important skills, like how to make a salad, pour a beer, and wear cowboy boots. And during my BlogHer stay he taught me how to make Shrimp and Grits, which was the best meal I had over the course of my trip (although the hotel food wasn’t hard to beat). Although he didn’t walk me through step by step, he did give me the idea and set me straight on how to make grits. Basically? Don’t waste your time grinding corn because grits aren’t supposed to be gourmet.
When I got back to LA I called my mom to tell her that I had rich, cheesy grits with, of all things, shrimp on top! And she said, “Oh, he made Shrimp and Grits!” like it was a common meal. I guess it was a common dish for them growing up, and nobody ever told me about it.
Last night I made my own version of Shrimp and Grits which wasn’t the same as my uncle’s, but it was still really good. We dug into it too quickly for me to get a decent picture, but I made mental notes while I was cooking so you can make Shrimp and Grits at home. It’s delicious served with cold beer but would also serve as a great dish for Sunday Brunch.
Shrimp and Grits
1 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
6 cocktail tomatoes, quartered
1 can chicken broth
8 oz Quaker instant grits
1 cup shredded cheddar-jack
Pour chicken broth into a glass measuring cup and add water to make 4 cups liquid. Set aside. In a large pan, pour olive oil to just cover bottom and turn on medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and pinch cayenne and saute until just tender (about 5 minutes).
While veggies are cooking, pour broth liquid into a saucepan with lid. Add pinch paprika and one clove of minced garlic and bring to a boil. Pour in grits, reduce heat to low, and cook while stirring until smooth and free of lumps (1-2 minuets). Remove from heat and stir in cheese, cover to keep warm.
Add shrimp to veggies and crush in remaining cloves of garlic, cook until shrimp are all pink (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste and serve on top of grits (I layered mine atop a bed of sauteed spinach, then grits, then shrimp).