Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday's Special: Shrimp and Grits

Mindy here. Now before all you Yanks turn your noses up at the mention of grits, stick with me here. Shrimp and grits is some classic comfort food in the south. And while I won't give you much for plain grits or grits with sugar, cheese grits are another story. Add in a too-die-for sauce and grits just don't get much better. And the good news, this recipe won't kill your diet.

For the grits, you will need:
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Bring salt and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Gradually whisk in grits. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes, or until thickened. There's no need to cover however, be prepared for lots of bubble splatters as it thickens. Whisk in Parmesan and pepper. Set grits aside, but keep them warm.

To prepare the shrimp, you will need:
  • 1 lb. unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp (I had large on hand, so that's what I used :-)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Vegetable cooking spray

Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and 1/8 tsp. salt. Cook in a large non-skillet (I used my cast-iron one) coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove from skillet.

Now it's time for the sauce, so gather your ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh baby spinach
Using the same skillet, heat oil 30 seconds over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 30 seconds to one minute. Whisk--Can anyone explain to me why I keep inadvertantly typing a Y at the end of whisk?--in broth and next 5 ingredients. cook 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Note: Sauce won't be real thick. More like a thick soup. This sauce smells so yummy.

Stir in shrimp and spinach and cook until spinach is slightly wilted.

Serve immediately over grits.

I serve mine in a casserole dish, family-style, but you can serve in individual portions just as easily. This dish doesn't take me more than 30 minutes to make, providing I have all of my ingredients within easy reach, which makes for a quick meal. My kids even like it. And considering there are so many good things in here, that's a HUGE bonus. 

Happy Tuesday, y'all.


  1. Well this is an eye-opener. I thought grits were like a fried patty of cornmeal. LOL. It's actually oatmeal with cheese?! Who knew?

    1. Now, Kav, that just sounds gross. Like Missy said, the texture is more like cream of wheat, but with a corn taste. I'm not sure, but I think the fried cornmeal patties are called mush. At least that's what I seem to recall from my days up north.

  2. Oh, Kav! You've been missing out! You'll love cheese grits! Have you ever had Cream of Wheat? They're more like that than oatmeal.

    I love to make mine with cream instead of water. And eat with salt and pepper. I learned about that when I moved to Georgia--and thought they were kidding since I grew up eating them with sugar and butter in Kentucky! :)

    Mindy, this sounds wonderful!! The shrimp and grits I've usually eaten had more of a barbecue sauce. I'll love this with spinach!! Thanks for sharing. I'll add the ingredients to my list for this week.

    1. Missy, I bet they're yummy with cream. I mean, what isn't better with cream. But think of all the fat grams.

      Actually, these were quite tasty by themselves. The Parmesan is a nice flavor. The sauce still adds a lot though. I can't wait to hear what you think.

    2. I use the cream when I'm eating them by themselves or as a side dish. I'll use water in the recipe since there's so much other yummy stuff in there!

  3. Mindy, this sounds delicious - but alas, I'm the only one in my family who would eat it.


    Not such a bad thing...

    I learned to love grits when we lived in Texas, got away from them while we lived in Indiana, went back to them again when we moved to Kentucky, but I haven't had them since.

    Maybe I just need to be surrounded by southern accents to think about making them?

    Or maybe it's only because you really need to hunt for them on the grocery shelves in the north.

    1. Jan, it just depends on how you look at it. If you were to eat them all in one sitting, that would be a bad thing. Maybe you could cut it in half, or make less grits. After all, the shrimp sauce is rather light.

      We need to get your men to expand their horizons. Especially the ones to the south :-)

  4. FYI - When your cat helps you type the blogger password, it always comes out wrong.

  5. LOL, Jan! I just love those helpful kitties. :)

  6. We Yankees don't turn our noses up at grits, we just don't know much about them! I'm from up north in God's country, but now I live in the south. I never pass up cheese grits. This recipe sounds delicious!

    1. You are correct, Cara. I grew up in Michigan without a clue about grits. Then I was introduced to cheese grit. Oh, my. My SIL will order them when we go out to breakfast and put sugar in them. Eww.

      I hope you try the recipe.

  7. I tried getting in earlier but then got dragged away because I am lovin' me some shrimp and (maybe) grits.

    This makes me almost want to try grits. Mindy, you cutie, you make them sound delicious. And I love the spinach mixed in with the shrimp.

    I'm trying to convince my pants right now that I DON'T need a hair tie through the buttonhole to give me an extra inch. Or two.

    Lifting a diet Snapple to this wonderful Southern Cookin'!

    1. Ruthy, I know all about that hair tie through the button hole. Why is it it's so easy and fun to put weight on, but taking it off isn't? Just not fair.

      You need to try the grits. At least these. You might be pleasantly surprised. Go ahead...I dare you:-)

  8. Missy, how's 'bout I come down there and you MAKE me these grits???/

    I like that notion!