Friday, February 18, 2011

Shrimp and Grits with Okra

I have to admit that I don't looooove shrimp and grits. I like grits and I like shrimp, but whenever I eat traditional shrimp and grits I am always slightly let down. I think I need pop or zing or spice or something. I think what I really don't like about shrimp and grits is that the dish is usually so heavy. You need to be forklifed from the establishment that served it to you. When I make something at home, I want it to be delicious and something that isn't going to make me need to hire a personal trainer. This version is full of okra which I love and which I think really belongs with this dish anyway. I have to admit that I am not a grits purest. I am from New Jersey after all. I did by regular (not instant) grits, but I prepare them according to the directions on my box. I microwaved them, which I'm sure is a no-no for real grits loves, but for a weeknight meal, one pan on the stove is my limit. The addition of a little cheese for creaminess and the greens of the scallion for freshness make these grits special. My southern food purest boyfriend was in heaven, which is good enough for me!
Shrimp and Grits with Okra (serves 2)
12 shrimp (21-30 count size)
1/2 lemon
15 pieces okra
10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 scallions
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbs. mild white cheddar (or other good melting cheese)
1 cup grits

1. Slice tomatoes in half and slice the pepper into similarly sized pieces.
2. Chop the okra into bite sized pieces.
3. In 1 Tbs. olive oil, sautee the vegetables on medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes.
4. Put the shrimp in a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp for a quick flavor injection.
5. Chop the scallions and garlic and add the garlic and whites parts of the scallion to the pan. Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes. You want the bottom of the pan to get a nice caramelization to it. You are going to have a nice, rich, brown sauce to go wtih your shrimp and grits.
6. Make room for the shrimp in the bottom of the pan and add the shrimp.
7. Allow them to cook for 2 minutes and stir them so that they cook on the other side.
8. Add the white wine and use a spoon or spatula to help get all that caramelized goodess from the bottom of the pan.
9. Prepared grits according to the box instructions. Stir in the grated cheese and greens of the scallions for added flavor.
10. Spoon half of the mixture over each bowl of grits and make sure to include all of the delicious juice from the pan. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. See, I do looooooove shrimp and grits. But your complaint is also mine: the heavy grits sneak up on you and you feel like a dump truck walking home. This looks like a responsible solution and a way to eat them more often.

    This looks spicy, flavorful, and relatively healthy. It also looks like I'll be making this next week.