Shrimp & Cheesy Grits with Bacon & Tomatoes

by Lynne on April 29, 2015

Post image for Shrimp & Cheesy Grits with Bacon & Tomatoes

It was once again time to go through the pantry and check all the expiration dates, resulting in a number of Bob’s Red Mill grains that I need to use up pretty soon. White rice flour, spelt berries, semolina flour, wheat germ and corn grits. Don’t you just love Bob’s Red Mill products? I decided to start with the corn grits. It wasn’t too hard to figure out what to make, I mean, if you say grits, don’t you automatically say ‘shrimp and’ right along with it? While shrimp and grits is the state dish for several Southern states, I had never eaten it, so I decided to remedy that forthwith.

I really love the bacon-y, garlic-y, lemon-y sauce that goes with the shrimp over the cheddar parmesan grits. I added my own touch with the grape tomatoes and was quite happy with that little acid note, along with a garnish of Italian parsley and chives. Perfect.

Shrimp & Grits 2

My first experience with cooked ground corn was in the form of polenta when I was doing my culinary school cooking internship at Campanile way back in 1996. On a Saturday when polenta was on the menu, a big vat of it was made. And since I was the absolute low man on the totem pole in the kitchen, guess who got to stand at the hot stove and stir that stock pot full of polenta for about an hour. I was instructed by Chef Mark Peel personally to never stop the stirring motion and running the flat-edged long wooden spoon over the bottom of the pot. So I persevered, sweated, my arms aching, stirring back and forth, back and forth, until it was finally finished. Ugh. Fortunately for you, in my version, you can stir intermittently. You’ll be fine.

I like to make more that I will use on the day, so I can pour what’s leftover on a plastic-lined sheet pan, let it set and cut it into squares that I can freeze. Those yellow squares are so good sautéd in a little butter and topped with your favorite goodies, like tomato pasta sauce with fried Italian sausage or a fried egg. You know how much I love food I can freeze and heat up when the whim strikes me. This is one of my favorites.

Shrimp & Grits 3

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Post image for Pecorino Potato Pops with Smokey Chipotle Sauce

This recipe has been a total inspiration for me. It’s little Duchesse potato bites with the spicy smokey dipping sauce would make a yummy hors d’oeuvre, but the flavor notes of Pecorino Romano cheese and smoky paprika would suggest a French or Italian menu to follow. So then I started imagining the dinner party these would headline, and how many to invite and who. I totally spaced out into lala land for about an hour. Well, you can’t have a dinner party without a plan, right?

One of the nice things about this recipe is I made it from ingredients I already had on hand. I didn’t have to go out and buy anything special, just opened up my cupboard, refrigerator and freezer doors. Which means I can make more on a whim any time I get a craving. Ta da. Now that I am thinking about it, you could use these potato pops as your side dish for your meat and veg dinner plate. Or with your breakfast egg and bacon. I froze my pops and they heat up in the microwave beautifully in about 30 seconds. Good as new. Truly, this is an item to make and have on hand.

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Do you ever go through your pantry and check all the expiration dates to see what you need to use up? Well, that’s how I happened to be making a red lentil salad. The weather was hot and I didn’t feel like soup, so salad it was. For me, there are three nice things about [...]

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All of us, at one time or another, have had food made from ground corn, be it cornbread, corn tortillas, tortilla chips, tamales or polenta. In my pantry there is a new kid on the block called pre-cooked white maize meal or “harina de maiz blanco precocida”, which is what I used to make [...]

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Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you so much for all your visits and comments over the past year. They have meant so much to me. You are the best! I hope you have great times with your family and friends this coming week, and of course, wonderful food. That’s what life is all about, right? Delicious [...]

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My original reason for making these chocolate shards was to embellish the top of the Grasshopper Cream Cheese Pie that I was planning on making. I wanted something on that pie that was sort of a show stopper and really photogenic. My fantasies were just pie in the sky, you might say.

If you like this, [...]

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As part of my holiday baking this year, I decided to make a pie with a chocolate wafer crumb crust. The kind where you crush the wafers, add melted butter and press them into the pie plate. The pie was a Grasshopper Cream Cheese Pie and I was really excited to make it.
I went to [...]

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One of the great things about the holidays is family, friends and neighbors come to visit. Not all are coming to dinner, maybe just an afternoon visit. These Cheddar Garlic Crackers are such a great idea for noshing, especially since you can make them ahead of time and just whip them out of the fridge [...]

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Thumbnail image for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocado & Pecans November 15, 2014

As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, I am finalizing my chosen side dishes and making my shopping list. I decided on this brussels sprouts dish, because I thought it would be a nice color contrast to the Roasted Carrots & Parsnips I will also be serving. I discovered this dish in a Food & Wine magazine [...]

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