Shrimp & Grits

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I have been on a quest to expose the boys to different foods.  I want them to have more of an appreciation of not only healthy food but also foods that they don’t normally see at local restaurants, the school cafeteria or at home.  I want them to be brave eaters and not be afraid to try new things. So far my two oldest are game but the youngest is not on board.  Example: when I offered fruit salad to everyone as dessert one night during the holidays he informed me that he doesn’t like fruit or salad and would not be eating any!  Ummm, hello?  You do to like fruit!

Anyway, I am not giving up and in that spirit I made a delicious meal of shrimp and grits for dinner.  Hayden loved it and barely came up for air while eating.  Evan loved the shrimp as they were buttery with lots of garlic & lemon.  He was less enthusiastic about the grits but he did give them a try.  I think grits may be a food he will grow into if I serve it more often.

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First I peel and rinse 1 pound of large shrimp (20-25 per pound), set aside to drain, and gather the rest of my ingredients.  Old fashioned grits, salt & pepper, lemon juice, minced garlic, fresh parsley, grated cheese, unsalted butter & olive oil.

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Next comes the grits:  Bring 4 cups of water to boil.  Add 1 cup of grits and turn the heat down so the grits cook (covered) at a simmer until all the water is absorbed (20 – 25 minutes).  I check the grits and give them a stir every so often.  Grits cooking away nicely in the photo below.

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While the grits cook I get to work on the shrimp.  In a large cast iron skillet I heat up some olive oil and a pat of butter.  I drop in the shrimp and spread them out evenly in the pan to cook.  I am working on medium hi heat and I don’t leave the stove.

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Watch the shrimp as they are cooking in the pan and turn each one over as it becomes pink on one side.  They smell sooooo good.  Look at those delicious little morsels sizzling in the skillet.

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After flipping all the shrimp over add 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. minced garlic and a couple of tbsp. of freshly chopped parsley.  Just tear some parsley off of the bunch and roughly chop it up before sprinkling over the shrimp.  Cook the shrimp for another 2-3 minutes.  They are basically done at this point so turn off the burner and remove them from the heat.

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Time to get back to the grits.  Lid off the pot and give the grits another stir.  When you see that all the water is gone and the grits are thick and creamy take them off the heat.  Next stir in 4 tbsp. of butter and 1 cup of shredded cheese.  I use a blend of cheddar and monterey jack.

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Stir it all together until well combined.

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Warm, scrumptious, and filling on a cold winter night. :)

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This recipe makes about 4 servings. Bon Appetit!


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