Felt like some southern comfort cuisine this weekend, shrimp and grits fit the bill:
These days shrimp and grits go for breakfast or dinner – I went for the latter with this recipe and served it up with some greens and a tasty craft brew.
I started cooking the greens first since they take the longest to cook. That’s offset by how easy they are to make though. Recipe is vegetarian for friends and loved ones that only eat plants. True greens would be cooked with some ham hock or other meat cast-off.
Collard Greens – (from this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (these are critical for flavor!)
- 1 clove garlicfinely chopped
- 1 pound collard greens, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion for a minute or two, then the garlic. Throw in the red paper flakes and the collards, sautee for about a minute. Then add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 40 minutes. Turn the heat off, pour in the tomatoes, mix with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Grits – (from this recipe, as is the shrimp part)
- 2 cups water
- 14 oz (1 can) chicken / veggie broth
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 cup regular grits
- 1 cup shredded horseradish cheddar (or other cheese – I think a chipotle monterey jack would be nice here for some extra kick)
- 2 tbsp’s butter
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- 3/4 tsp. salt
Seems crazy to need 5 cups of liquid for only one cup of grits, but that soupy, cheesy mixture melts together nicely. Bring the water, broth, and half and half to a boil. Whisk in the grits slowly and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add the butter, cheese, and salt and stir. The recipe called for a 1/2 tsp. of hot sauce, but I could barely taste it – go for the full teaspoon at least.
Sauteed Shrimp with mushrooms and green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- Lemon wedges
- When not cooking for a pescatarian: 3 slices bacon
Before adding shrimp, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.
For that indescribable bacon-y feeling: fry it, drain, and leave about a tbsp of bacon drippings in the pan. You’ll use that grease to sautee the shrimp, then sprinkle the bacon on top of the dish.
When you’re going baconless: sautee mushrooms in butter and a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, add the green onions and garlic for the next 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sautee for about 2 minutes or until lightly brown. Be sure to use a big enough, hot enough skillet – I didn’t and had to transfer over mid-sautee, which meant I didn’t get a crispy effect. Hence the title of this post.
Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce, and cook about 2 more minutes.
Serve the shrimp on top of the grits, put some greens on your plate, and enjoy!
Saucy tip: The tastiest shrimps I had were the ones that had been doused with lemon juice, so be sure to spread that around evenly. But you’ll also have lemon wedges and hot sauce at the table if you know what’s good for you, so you can spice things up then.
Breakfast the next day – what to do with your leftover cheese, green onions and mushrooms
Make an omelette! Sautee the mushrooms and green onions in a little butter. Pour the eggs into a skillet on low heat. Add the cheese and let melt for a while. Add the ‘shrooms and onions, fold, and enjoy!
How much butter was used in these recipes?
No comment. Do not argue with success.