Shrimp and Grits

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Is this healthy? It is when you use bacon without sodium nitrates!  ;-) Now I have never had this combination before. But it is very popular in the south particularly Charleston, South Carolina. And being a semi-vegetarian who loves seafood, I wanted to try this popular dish. Not sure if beer is commonly used to marinate the shrimp for this, but the lemon beer in this recipe really complements this dish!

 

 

Ingredients

20 ounces of large Shrimp

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup of chicken stock

1 green bell pepper

¾ cup of cheddar cheese

1 bottle of Leinenkugel Summer Shandy beer

1 lemon (juice of)

5 slices of natural, no nitrates bacon, chopped

1 ½ cup of stone ground corn grits (not instant)

2 bunches of scallions or green onions

2-3 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

Texas Pete or Tabasco hot sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (minced, if preferred)

Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon Salt (as desired)

 

Directions

Due to the fact that this dish has the tendency to be salty (bacon, chicken stock etc.) add salt according to your needs. Also, bacon, shrimp and cheese isn’t good for anyone that may have high cholesterol. ;-)

Peel, deveined and wash shrimp. In a large bowl, add lemon juice and cover shrimp with beer completely; and then add hot sauce and creole seasoning (as desired).

While that is marinating start making your grits. In a medium-large saucepan add 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Whisk in your grits, about ½ cups at a time. After adding all of your grits, decrease heat to low or simmer for 30 minutes. At first, stirring occasionally, then more frequently toward the end. When stirring, try to scrape the bottom of the pot.

Now start your gravy. Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown but limp. Next, stir in the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Continue cooking until onion and pepper are limp, approximately 5 minutes. Then add green onions and sprinkle flour mixture over the mixture. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Everything will start to become dry, but don’t panic.

After about 5 minutes have past, add the chicken stock (and some salt, if you wish); and cook for 5 more minutes then remove from heat while finishing the grits.

Once the grits are thick and creamy; stir in butter and cheese. Remember you can alter this part according to your needs.

Now you can add hot sauce and salt if you wish, and cover the grits.

Return the gravy to the heat and stir in shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Try not to overcook shrimp.

Serve immediately mounding the grits in bowls or plates and covering with the shrimp and gravy. Enjoy!

 

You may substitute grits with brown, basmati or jasmine rice, if you wish. The following day it was served with basmati rice and was just as good. ;-)

 

Leftover Grits

 

What can you do with your thick and stiff leftover grits? Take about 1-1 ½ cups of your precooked grits, break it up a little and add a couple splashes of water. Place in the microwave for 1 minute with an 80% power level. Stir grits adding more water until you reach the desired consistency. Place back in the microwave for 1 minute at 100% power. Once it is heated through add fine black pepper and serve for breakfast or with leftover shrimp any time of day.