Shrimp and Grits
Wow, it’s been way to long since I posted! I have a few (debatably good) excuses though. First I finished up my family medicine rotation with a pretty tough standardized test, then John and I went on vacation to San Fran, wine country and point reyes, and this week I started a rotation in Dermatology in Bryan, OH. It’s been a busy but fun couple of weeks!
I think my favorite part about vacation had to be Sonoma. It was a beautiful but relaxed town and if it wasn’t clear across the country I could totally see myself living there someday. (I checked residency programs, and unfortunately there are none in wine country. boo.) We also had a lot of fun biking all around San Francisco and across the golden gate bridge, as well as hiking in point reyes national seashore.
Now that I’m in Bryan, I haven’t really been cooking much since it would require me to fill a whole new pantry with ingredients and transport my favorite pots and pans an hour and a half; however I do have the weekends off so my goal for the rest of the year is to post one time per week. I’ll start with this recipe for Shrimp and Grits.
We had this for dinner before we left for vacation, and I have been thinking about it off and on since then. I made this thinking it would be a nice treat for the butter, cheese and generally southern food loving member of our family, but as it turns out I ended up being the one who was head over heels for this dinner. Not to say that John didn’t love it as well, I just surprised myself by how much I could love something made with grits and bacon. The parsley and green onions really help to cut down on the heavy feeling of this dish and I think I might even add more next time. I was also surprised by how quickly this dish came together and how few unusual ingredients it required. Now that I have grits in the pantry, I think this is going to become one of my go to weeknight meals because 1) I really loved it and 2) I generally have all these ingredients around and 3) it’s pretty easy to put together. I know that you’re probably starting to think I must work for Costco or something, but I did want to mention that I found the best large, individually frozen shrimp there for the best price. Now that I have a costco sized bag of jumbo shrimp in the freezer, I have even more excuses to make this delicious dish again.
Shrimp and Grits
Serves about 4 (I made about half this recipe for the 2 of us)
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup grits (regular or quick cooking but NOT instant)
- 3 T. butter
- 1 heaping cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 5 slices bacon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 T.)
- 2 T. coarsely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Hot sauce if desired
1. Bring water to a boil. Add grits to the boiling water and stir. Add salt and a bit of pepper. Lower heat, bring to simmer and cover until water is absorbed. Follow the directions on your box of grits because cooking times vary.
2. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese. (Feel free to add more butter or shredded cheese – (John would’ve if he was making this…)
3. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. You don’t want them dripping water when you add them to hot oil.
4. Fry the bacon in a large skillet. When cooked through remove from the pan and crumble.
5. Add shrimp into the bacon grease pan. Cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, bacon, scallions, garlic and parsley. Cook for another three minutes.
6. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl and top with shrimp mixture. Add extra scallions and parsley. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Our Best Bites and Joy the Baker
Shrimp, Avocado & Tomato Pizza
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this pizza. I had a hundred different directions I was thinking of going with it and I was worried that by trying to combine too many different flavors, I would end up with a disaster. I put this on the menu for last week, but I think my fear of failure along with some good rationalization about NEEDING to have summer fun caused me to go out to eat 5 days last week. (In my defense I think that’s a personal record, plus once everyone buckles down with school, it will be at least a little bit harder to hang out :-)). Finally, I decided that I couldn’t let avocados, tomato, cilantro and limes go to waste, so I concocted this specialty.
Well as you can probably guess based on the fact that I am putting it on the food blog – I really liked this pizza! It was unique, fresh, flavorful and used up the leftover shrimp I had in the freezer. (I have a bad habit of buying shrimp and only using half the bag.) I also used some of the pizza dough I had frozen, which made this pretty easy to put together. I almost skipped adding the chipotle, but I’m so glad I didn’t because I think it made the meal. If you are a bacon lover, I think that could also be a nice flavor complement, but I felt like it had enough ingredients without it. The only part that takes some time is chopping, so I would recommend doing it at the beginning so you can just go “chop crazy” all at once. P.S. chopping veggies is a pretty awesome way to wind down!
Shrimp, Avocado and Tomato Pizza
- 1 pizza dough ball
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or provolone cheese
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 large tomatos, chopped and drained
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce or 1 t. finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 10-20 medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
1. Preheat oven to 475°, preferably with a pizza stone. Roll out the pizza dough. Brush with 2 T. olive oil and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Then spread cheese evenly over the top.
2. In a medium sauté pan add 1 T. olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 cloves of garlic and stir until fragrant. Then add the shrimp to the pan and stir for a 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, scallions and chipotle peppers to the pan, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes to soften the tomatoes and flavor the shrimp.
4. Spread the shrimp mixture over the pizza, and add a little bit of cheese on top if you feel like it.
5. Bake at 475° for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with cilantro and avocado. Squeeze lime juice over top of the pizza and serve.
A Spice is Nice Original.