Shrimp and Grits
This is one of my favorites! OK, it's a bit indulgent, but hey, it;s the holidays! Yay! This is really easy and a real crowd pleaser! I start with fresh jumbo Gulf shrimp I get from Gulf Coast Connection here in Paducah. It is just so fresh and delicious! Yes I cook this with bacon. ( I said it was indulgent). All the shrimp goodness is served over cheesy grits, topped with the crumbled bacon and sliced green onions. It is really so easy, but a special meal for your family. I served this with collard greens. I will talk about those yummy greens in a minute too. I saute them for a little bit, I don't feel the need to cook them down for hours. They turn out great!
Here's what you need: (to serve 6)
2 1/2 pounds of large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
4 slices of bacon cut up in small pieces
1 cup uncooked quick grits
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
1 cup cheddar cheese
Old Bay seasoning to taste ( about 1/2 t to 1 tsp depending on your taste)
Green onions sliced (about 3 onions)
Prepare your grits first. Cook the quick grits ( the kind that cooks in 5-7 minutes) according to the package directions but ....Instead of water, use the chicken broth for extra flavor and richness. When they are done, stir in the milk, butter and cheese. Set aside and keep warm. If they are too thick, just add more milk. Now in a large skillet saute the bacon pieces until done. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Keep the bacon drippings in the skillet. Place the shrimp in the same skillet,with one of the green onions sliced stirring constantly just for a few minutes until the shrimp is pink and is done. Turn heat off or to low and sprinkle on the Old Bay seasoning to taste, a little at a time to the desired flavor. To serve, place some grits in shallow bowls and top with the shrimp along with some of the juice. Sprinkle on the crumbled bacon and the remaining green onions sliced. to garnish. Yay!
Now a word about the collards. Like I said earlier, I don't feel the need to cook the greens down for hours. I simply wash them very well and strip the leaves off the the thick stems and discard the stems. I chop the leaves and place in a colander and wash again thoroughly. I heat a little olive oil in a large skillet and add the drained greens. I saute on medium high heat and season with a little salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning as I go. You can drizzle a little bacon drippings in as well for flavor. I saute for about ten minutes max until they are tender. That is all I do. You can sprinkle with bacon crumbles if you want. They are just so good! Yum! Enjoy your dinner!