Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shrimp over Creamy, Cheesy Grits

This recipe came about when I became determined to try and get more people in our house to like grits.  I'd had minor success with polenta, but I really wanted to cook grits on a more regular basis.  Most of you have this enjoy certain foods, but rarely cook them because nobody eats them except you. 

Now David will eat just about anything if I put a LOT of cheese in it.  But that adds fat and calories.  After some research...I decided to try making the grits with evoporated milk instead of water.  I still put some cheese in, but not as much as I might have, hoping the evaporated milk would give it a nice, creamy texture and great flavor.   

In addition to having an adversion to grits, only David, Rebecca, and I eat shrimp.  So I added some sausage to the everyone else would have a protein to eat. 

Want to see if this will pass the test at your house?  Here's the's easy, and you'd better bookmark it for Lent next spring, minus the sausage, of course. ;-)

Shrimp over Creamy, Cheesy Grits

1 cup quick cooking grits
3 cups evaporated milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup mild cheddar cheese
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound link sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 can (15 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

We'll start with the grits...they'll stay plenty hot while you make the shrimp.  Bring the 3 cups of evaporated milk to a gentle boil and pour in the grits. 

 Stir in the salt, pepper, and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes...however long the box tells you too.  When all the milk has been absorbed, the grits are done. 

Remove from the heat and add the butter and cheese (I know...the salt and pepper were in this pic instead of the previous one).  Stir once more to incorporate all the cheese.  Put the lid on and set aside.

Heat the one tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the onion and saute until soft.  Toss in the sausage and let it brown for 5 minutes on both sides.  It's already fully cooked, so we're just going for a little little more flavor by searing it. 

Sprinkle in the flour, and stir well so your sauce won't develop any lumps.  Pour in the chicken broth and keep stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits.

Now you can add the Old Bay, bay leaf, and shrimp. 

Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes.  When the shrimp are pink and opaque, they're done. 

Keep in mind any seafood will continue to cook on the plate, so if you undercook them just a hair, by the time you serve it, it will be finished (overcooked shrimp have a rubbery texture...which is not very appetizing!). 

Turn off the heat, and stir in the green onions and parsley.

Ladle some grits in a bowl, and top with a nice serving of the shrimp and sausage mixture. 

YUM!  Wasn't that easy?  I know Paula Deen woud have used 2x as much butter, lol. 
I held my breath while David took his first bite. 

ME:  "Well, do you like it sweetheart?"

DAVID:  "You know what, the grits work.  It's good."

ME:  "So if I made it again, would you eat it?"

DAVID:  "Yes, I would.  I like it."

At that point, I wanted to jump up on the table and do a little dance but I restrained myself.  We do try and teach our kids proper table manners after all. ;-)

Rebecca said the grits were "okay."  She did like the rest though.  David had his bowl, and a second helping.  In my book, if half of our family eats it, I'll make it again. 

So...there you are, a classic dish with a little twist.  Hope you enjoy making it. 

God bless your table tonight!

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