A culinary adventure

A week later, and I seem to be nearly out of the woods. The congestion and fever that plagued me all weekend and the beginning of the week is slowly subsiding, and I'm thankful for that. It's still hanging out in a 3x3'' area of my sinuses and throat, but other than that, I'm jolly :)

This is something I have been meaning to share for a while, and since I need to actually be working on articles for work, but can't seem to get the creative juices flowing, I figured I'd share this and see where I end up! About two weeks ago, I attempted to make something that I've never done before. I've never ever tasted it done well before, although my husband certainly has. Having lived almost 10 years in the Lowcountry (Charleston, SC) area, he is quite particular about his shrimp and grits. And so naturally, I needed to prove to him I could do it, just like the pros.

Having only eaten shrimp and grits once, and not having been impressed at all (the Charleston establishment shall remain nameless...but let me just say this famous dish at the grill named after corn is NOT recommended by me) I had literally no idea what it was supposed to taste like. I was also at a disadvantage because I would be cooking with Quaker instant grits, which all the recipe sites said absolutely NOT to do. Whoops. However, considering that I don't really follow recipes, it should be no surprise I threw the rulebook out the window and walked on the wild side with instant grits. I'm a culinary rebel.

So anyway, I started with four packs of instant grits, donated to us by Kristel upon her pantry-cleaning before the move to Denver. I cooked according to directions, except substituting some half and half for some of the water for creamier grits. I would have used chicken broth in place of water, too, if I had any. As they cooked, I dropped handfuls of shredded cheese in to make them tasty and cheesy (the less-then-impressive grits I ate in SC had little to no cheese flavor to them, so you better believe I ramped that junk UP).

Meanwhile, I cooked about four slices of bacon. After the bacon grease incident several months back, I swore I would never cook bacon on the stove again, but alas, I did. Now you know how much I love my husband. And how determined I was to knock his socks off with tasty Shrimp 'n Grits.

Once the bacon was done (without incident, thank you, Lord) I drained it on some paper towels and began to make gravy, also for the first-ever time in my life. I threw a few pinches of flour, some black pepper and some skim milk in with the bacon grease and began to heat it up until bubbling, thick and well....gravy-like. (On a side note, have you ever tried to explain gravy to someone from South American in Spanish?!? No? I have. It's really difficult. Like, more difficult than just MAKING gravy, so I recommend you just go that route if you ever find yourself in that particular situation).

Meanwhile, in another pan, I began to saute some sliced onions, some fresh chopped mushrooms and some garlic in a wee bit of olive oil. Maybe it was butter. Alas, my memory fails me, but I'm sure either would be tasty. I cooked those things until they looked just about right and tasty, then added in a bunch of shrimp. The little shrimps (say that out loud in a funny voice. I just did. Isn't it fun?) had been cooked and frozen previously, so had been thawing in some tap water with a few squirts of lemon juice in it. I drained them, added them to the onion/mushroom mixture and cooked for three minutes. Three minutes because I learned that's the perfect amount of time for tender shrimp and who likes tough shrimp?

Then, assembly time. I threw some of the cheese grits on our plates, topped with some crumbled bacon, then the shrimp mixture, then a spoonful of gravy. To finish it off - a bit more cheese and crumbled bacon.

I never said it would be healthy. But it sure was TASTY! And - my husband said it was LOTS better than the Shrimp 'n Grits from that Corn Grill (not difficult) and rivaled some of the best versions he had ever eaten. Mission accomplished :)

Do you make shrimp 'n grits? How can I improve upon this? Suggestions, thoughts, accolades, etc :)



Anonymous said...

I've never had shrimp n grits. But if you make it for me I'll be glad to try it! ;-)

The Castles said...

Wow! I am impressed with your recipe! I love shrimp and grits....food network has a really nice recipe...you add a little tomato paste to the grits which gives it nice flavor. I cant remember what else is in it but it was yummy! I will have to try adding mushrooms and bacon...trev would be in heaven! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!


kathy said...

Bell peppers! We used to cheese up our grits too, but we discovered that really you need a lot less for the same cheesy flavor if you just put it in at the very end/sprinkle on top.

I'm intrigued by the gravy addition, but shrimp and grits is really my husband's meal, and I'm not sure whether I can convince him...

jessie said...

looks great! Cory is also a Shrimp and Grits lover. I use the grit recipe from the flying bisuit. They have the best grits I have ever had. It calls for heavy cream and sharp cheddar cheese. If I don't have the cream on hand, I use a hunk of cream cheese and reg milk.

Janet said...

Wish I could come for dinner!
Love ya,

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