Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Deep South

A “good old boy” dinner…shrimp and grits. Probably best for a winter night but I tried it tonight and it was great. Now I have had shrimp and grits before; even had them for dinner. Most memorable was a dinner in Charlotte, North Carolina. And I believe the origin of this dish is from that state.

I started with a package of frozen Tiger shrimp (20-25 count) from Trader Joe’s. First, defrost and then use scissors to cut off the shell on the tail, rinse and pat dry. Set aside.

Buy regular grits, not “quick” grits. Now pour out one cup and then heat a pot with 4 cups of chicken broth. Once it’s boiling, pour in the grits, stir and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan, cook 6 slices of bacon until browned. Set aside to cool. Now add to the frying pan; ½ cup of sweet onions, chopped fine and 1 clove of garlic, minced. Crush the bacon into bits and add them to the pan. Now it’s time to add the shrimp to the frying pan and cook until just turning pink on both sides. While the shrimp is cooking, turn off the heat for the grits and add 3 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Stir them in.

Now it’s time to pour the grits into a large serving bowl. And add the shrimp, bacon, onion and garlic mix from the frying pan. Yes, there are some bacon drippings in there…you bet! Mix well and serve immediately.

OK, it’s not exactly heart healthy fare, but I didn’t use butter; I used a substitute. And I cut the amount of cheese in half. Feel free to experiment. For instance, I will only use half the bacon next time.

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