At the finest restaurant in Tuscaloosa during parents’ weekend last fall I discovered my all-time favorite dish, shrimp ‘n grits. How could I have spent several years in Memphis after graduating college and almost 10 years in Houston since getting married and never have heard of this wonderfully sophisticated comfort food before? When a Food Network Star contestant, who positions herself as having a Southern flair, presented shrimp ‘n grits for her competition recently, I was inspired to develop my own creation. I debuted my dish when step-Daughter visited home prior to the start of sorority rush and fall classes, and we thought it was pretty darn delicious. This is my recipe:
Grits, adapted from Mimi’s recipe
Boil: 4 cups water.
Add and cook: 1 cup 5-minute grits.
Remove from heat and season with: 3 tsp Lawry’s season salt + 1 tsp Lawry’s pepper medley.
Stir in to melt: 3 Tbs butter + 2 cups shredded cheddar.
Rinse and pat dry 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (it’s okay to buy frozen); season with salt + pepper.
Fry: 6 slices bacon, chopped; remove from pan and pour off most bacon grease.
Saute in the remaining bacon grease: the shrimp, just until pink.
Add and saute 1-3 minutes more to soften vegetables:
2-3 thinly sliced scallions;
1 Roma tomato, cored, seeded and diced;
1 large garlic clove, minced;
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped.
Deglaze pan: splash chicken stock.
Whisk in: 1 tsp tomato paste.
Squeeze over the shrimp: fresh juice from 1/2-1 lemon.
Toss in: the bacon.
Spoon grits into bowl. Serve shrimp deliciousness over grits. Yum!