Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shrimp and Corn over Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

All righty, I promised y'all a meatless meal for Friday, and here it is. I'm posting it today so you have enough time to go to the store and make this for dinner tomorrow night :-). I'll make it tomorrow night too, and get pics up over the weekend.

This is a great twist on shrimp and grits, which I ADORE, but my family is not so crazy about grits. However, half the kids like mashed potatoes, and David will tolerate them...if they have a LOT of cheese in them. Have to try and please the hubby, right? But you like grits, feel free to make a pot of 'em instead.

So hopefully you bought some shrimp at a great price like I did last week, because most grocery stores have seafood specials during Lent. And hopefully you're not allergic to shrimp...if you are, you can just eat the potatoes!

Shrimp and Corn over Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

About 6 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2/3 cup half-and-half or milk

Salt and black pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh/frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced, plus a bit more for garnish

Here's my shrimp, peeled and ready to go. I prepped them in the morning so it wouldn't be rushing once we got back from swim lessons at 5PM.

Place the potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and let 'em go until the potatoes are tender (12-14 minutes). Drain well, and return to the pot.

Nuke your cream/milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, just long enough to take the chill off of it. It's better to add slightly warm liquid to mashed potatoes so they don't have a gummy texture.

Slowly add the half-and-half (or milk), and mash with a potato masher.

I like to break out my immersion blender for this. (Once you add the cheese, it's too thick.)

Add the cheese and butter and stir gently until it's all melted in. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set the potatoes aside.

In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the corn, and continue to cook until the corn is heated through.

Stir in the paprika, pepper and thyme (if you like heat, and your kids can handle it, feel free to add more cayenne).

Now stir in the shrimp, and cook for just about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

Don't overcook them...shrimp don't taste good when they're cooked too long--they'll be tough and chewy instead of sweet and tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green onions. Turn out into a serving bowl.

To serve, dollop some mashed potatoes on your plate/bowl, and top with a generous helping of shrimp. Garnish with a sprinkling of green onions and you're ready to eat!

God Bless your table tonight!

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