I’m a Midwestern girl to the core. I grew up in Illinois in a suburb of Chicago. Even though I’ve lived in Wisconsin for 13 years, I still consider myself a Lincoln girl at heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese, baseball games and Summerfest. But living so far north, sometimes I’m missing out.
Take grits, for example.
I just discoved grits this week while testing recipes for an article I’m working on. And I’m so glad I did! (By the way, the recipe was for cheesy grits topped with butternut squash and corn from Rick Tramonto’s book “Amuse-Bouche”).
Amazing. Delicious. Delightful.
Now I’m obsessed. It must be because it’s made from corn (see, Illinois again).
I think I’ve eaten grits four times this week so far. Thanks, in part, to a new recipe called Shrimp and Grits. I found it in my Taste of Home cookbook but used the recipe as more of a template.
I’ve found that all grits recipes are a little different because you can use various liquids to thicken them, like water, chicken broth, milk, half and half, cream or butter. And don’t forget the cheese (usually Cheddar or Parmesean). So far, my vote is milk and cheese.
She’s on the Run Shrimp and Grits
3 cups water
1-3/4 cups milk
1-1/3 cups yellow corn grits
3 slices bacon
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
4 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil. Slowly add grids and whisk. Stir often for 20 minutes, or until grits reach the mush stage.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels and chop to small pieces when cool. Set aside.
Remove the bacon drippings and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add mushrooms and onions and cook for a few minutes.
In a large Ziplock bag, place flour, pepper and shrimp inside. Shake. Take out shrimp and add to the mushroom mixture and cook for about 4 minutes. Add corn, bacon, spices, lemon and Tobasco sauce and continue cooking until everything is hot and the shrimp are no longer pink.
When the grits are done. Stir in the shredded cheese.
To serve, place grits in the bottom of a bowl and add the shrimp and vegetable mixture. Top with salt and pepper.
Note: I ate this throughout the week as leftovers. The night the photo was taken, I added butternut squash, which was fantastic. Another night I only had grits left (no shrimp) and added a mushroom Boca burger to it and some fresh goat cheese. Grits are so versatile and definitely my new favorite food.
Question: Have you ever cooked grits? Or did you grow up with them? What do you usually add to them?