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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Easy & Amazing Shrimp & Grits!

Oh my god, I was in New Orleans 2 weeks ago with my best friend, and I ate shrimp and grits every single day we were there, and it was so, so good. My husband was jealous of all the delicious food I had while I was there, so for Valentine’s Day, we made shrimp and grits.
The first meal I had in NOLA: shrimp & grits! (At the Ruby Slipper). Top is my BFF's meal of egg's benedict.
We don’t make a big deal of Valentine’s Day, we generally cook together and spend the evening at home, which I love. 

I love shrimp and grits, and it’s a pretty simple and filling meal. It’s also a bit rich, which I happen to love. Buttery, creamy grits with spiced shrimp and a sauce made mainly of bacon grease. What’s not to love?

My husband's favorite thing is seafood, and he particularly loves shrimp. He even likes cooking it, since it's so fast! And he brought me flowers, so we were happy and cooking up a storm! 
Gerber daisies are my favorite, and we had them at our wedding!
I like to cook on instinct. I’ll read several recipes and then kind of make it my own by following none of them, I just need to compare recipes and see general similarities.

I used Quaker grits, but not the instant kind, but just the old fashioned grits. My grits came out very creamy and delicious, and I believe the secret to those were that I did not use water in my grits. Also, most grits use cheddar cheese, but I find that mozzarella adds to the creaminess and flavor without making them super cheesy.
Our final product!! So delicious!

-1 cup grits (also known as stone ground hominy)
-3.5 cups chicken broth
-Half cup heavy cream OR half n half
-1-1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
-2-3 tablespoons butter (to taste)
-4-6 strips of bacon
-1 pound of cleaned, peeled, and de-veined shrimp
-1 clove garlic
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
-0.5-1 teaspoon of lemon juice
-Seasonings to taste (Salt, pepper, garlic, cajun seasoning mix, adobo)

  1. In a medium saucepan, put the chicken broth and cream on high heat, waiting until it gets to a rolling boil. Add a dash of salt to the liquid. Once that is boiling, add the grits slowly, stirring as you add. Cover it, turn heat to low, and stir every 2 minutes until the grits have absorbed the liquid. Takes 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, spray the bottom with cooking spray (I use Pam with olive oil), and cook the bacon. Once cooked, take bacon off and chop it up into bacon bits, to go on top with the shrimp.
  3. Leave the bacon grease in the pan, and add the garlic, then the raw shrimp. Season as you want. I used cajun seasoning (McCormick Perfect Pinch, Cajun is what I have), adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. While the shrimp is cooking, add the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to the pan. Mix it around so that the shrimp and the spices and the bacon grease and everything is mixed up together. Taste the sauce to adjust seasonings.
  5. Once the shrimp is cooked, remove from pan. Check grits, they should be about done. Into the grits, add the shredded mozzarella cheese to your preferred level of cheesiness, once that is fully mixed, add the butter a bit at a time to get the consistency you want. Add salt, pepper and garlic (if you want), tasting as you go.
  6. Serve hot with grits on the bottom, shrimp and bacon on top, and add a couple spoonfuls of the sauce from the bottom of the pan! Enjoy!! 
I know there are several places that say 2-3 or 1-1.5, and the reason for the variations are that grits tend to be a thing that people like a certain way. As your grits thicken up, you should taste after every step. Grits can be more coarse, more smooth, more spicy, more creamy, more salty, more buttery. You want it to be the texture and taste that YOU prefer, which is why I have written the amounts this way. 

Personally, I like my grits to be rich and creamy and buttery, but not particularly cheesy, and then I like you to be able to taste the garlic and salt and pepper, so I add more as I go.

Good luck! This whole thing only took about 15 minutes to make! My husband, who rarely cooks, made the shrimp and bacon, and we both really loved this meal. Rich and comfortably spicy, with that very comforting feel of hot southern food.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Poem

I wrote a terrible poem, and since this is my blog and I can post what I want to, here we are.

Gentle yet insane.
Making yearning known
What is timing?

Best laid plans;
Holds no consciousness.

Well, there we are, then. 

Life is so interesting. I find working from home to be both awesome and isolating, so far. I feel lonely, yet I speak with multiple clients per day. I was scared I'd be unproductive without the office environment, but I think I'm getting stuff done!

Either way, I was feeling a bit weird and I wrote a poem. What can I say? I'm a word person.