Shrimp and Grits

Sometimes I don’t understand why there are foods that I never ate before coming to Texas.  Like breakfast tacos (why are these not a thing EVERYWHERE?! I do not understand), or in this case:  GRITS.  Grits are like a big cheesy pile of delicious mush.  And when you put shrimp and gravy over them, it’s like an explosion of awesomeness in your mouth.  And turns out they’re pretty easy to make.  It was harder to FIND them in the huge ass Whole Foods than it was to cook them.

Shrimp and Grits

(based on this recipe:  http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/01/16/shrimp-and-grits/)

  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • juice of a lemon
  • hot sauce (I used Sriracha because obviously – this is optional if you’re a wuss)
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not the instant kind)
  • 6 slices bacon (I got the thick sliced stuff at Whole Foods)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a bunch of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

First, defrost your shrimp if necessary and peel them.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp and drizzle with hot sauce (in this case, Sriracha).

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Toss all that together and set aside.

Grab your grits.  This was the only kind that Whole Foods has that weren’t instant, but I think there’s also yellow grits.

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Also known as polenta?! Who knew?!?!

Not sure of the difference between white and yellow and too lazy to check.  I don’t think it matters, because either way you’re adding a crap ton of cheese and they’re going to taste amaze-balls.  (Follow the package instructions on your salt/water-to-grits ratio just in case it’s not the same as what I’m using.)  Bring your salted water to a boil, add the grits, stir and then reduce heat to low.  Stir occasionally as they start to thicken.  The thicker they get, the more often you should stir to prevent sticking or burning.

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Grab your bacon and cut it up, then put it into a pan on medium-high heat.

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Cook until the bacon starts to brown, but not crispy.  Reduce your heat to medium, then add your onion, green pepper, and garlic.

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As a matter of fact, add some mushrooms because mushrooms are delicious.

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Cook all this together for a five or so minutes, or until your vegetables start to get soft.  Then add two tablespoons of flour.  This is going the base for the gravy.

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Stir to combine and let that cook for another five minutes, but be careful to stir so you don’t get burning.  At this point, add your chicken stock and stir.

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Add the shrimp and cover.  Stir occasionally and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  About 5 minutes.

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At this point:  time to finish the grits.  If they’re looking pretty thick, add the butter and stir to combine.

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Then add your cheese and another touch of Sriracha if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

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Fold in the cheese until it melts and you get smooth, cheddar-y grits.

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You’re done!  Spoon a pile of grits into a bowl and top with the shrimp and gravy and shove it in your mouth.  Yeeee hawww southern cooking!

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