cafela: (Default)
I love cheese grits. I also love shrimp. My husband also likes both, and he especially likes the combination. Yesterday, as I pondered what to make for dinner, knowing that I didn't want to make the stuff I usually make, I decided to find a good shrimp and grits recipe. I also wanted to make a tomato gravy to go with it, as I had the best tomato gravy ever at my friend Jenn's wedding reception this past June, and it was served with parmesan cheese grits. So after looking at a lot of recipes on Pinterest, I cobbled this recipe together. It's kind of involved, but it only took me about 40 minutes to make it. The tomato gravy isn't as good as it was at Jenn's wedding, but it's still quite tasty.

So this dish was an experiment--and luckily, it turned out to be a delicious one. Unfortunately, experiments don't always get pictures taken while I make them, so all I have is one measely camera phone pic of the end result. If I'd had fresh chives, I would've added them in with the thyme, so those of you who have them, that wouldn't be a bad addition. You could just make the grits, or just the shrimp w/ tomato gravy...but they're pretty awesome put together. We both went back for seconds.


For the Grits

1 c grits

4 c water

1 tsp salt

2 tb butter

1/2 container of Boursin cheese (I used the garlic and herbs flavor)

1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

3/4 c grated cheddar cheese

For the Shrimp & Tomato Gravy

3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lemon

tabasco sauce

1/4 tsp old bay seasoning

4 slices of thick bacon, diced into small squares

1 diced ugli tomato (or regular tomato when it's summer and they're in season; ugli tomatoes are my go-to during winter)

2 scallions or green onions, sliced

1 shallot, diced into tiny pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 c chicken broth/stock

1/4 c cream

1 tb fresh thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

So, first, make your grits, the same way you would always make grits, 1 c grits to 4 c water, with salt to season. They will cook on medium low while you make everything else. If you have stone-ground grits, you will need to cook them however it says on the packaging.

Put the shrimp in a bowl with the juice of the lemon, several splashes of tabasco, and the old bay seasoning. Let marinate.

Slice/dice the bacon first, and put it in a large skillet on medium. Slice/dice the garlic, scallions, and shallot; add when the bacon is mostly cooked. Dice the tomato, add it. Let it cook down a bit, then add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, add the cream. Let sauce thicken.

In a smaller skillet, partially cook the shrimp (don't flip them) with 2 tb of the juice they were marinating in. When one side is cooked (about 1 minute), add them to the tomato sauce. Let sauce thicken. Add the thyme at this point.

(If sauce doesn't thicken after 5 minutes, mix 1 tsp cornstarch into 1 tb cold water, and stir that mix in. I do this anytime I have a sauce that doesn't thicken properly.)

By this point, the grits should be done. You want them to be pretty thick (not soupy/watery at all) before adding the butter and cheese, because that will loosen them up. Anyways, add the butter, then the cheeses, and stir in well. IF it gets too thin/watery, you can put the grits in your bowls to eat and microwave for a couple minutes until it's the right consistency.

Top with the shrimp and tomato gravy sauce. Voila!

Serves 2-4.

**Also, to get extra shrimp flavor, if you have shrimp that need to be peeled, toss the leftover peels/tails into the chicken broth and microwave for 45 seconds (until the shells are pink), and let sit until ready to add the chicken broth. Obviously, strain before adding the broth.**
cafela: (salt is magical)

This is a pretty easy dinner to throw together in under 30 minutes; it's my go-to meal during the week when I want to make something tasty quickly. Like a lot of the recipes I've posted so far, you can always tweak this to fit what you have on hand. Chicken works just as well, though you'd obviously need to increase the cooking time.

Garlic & Lime Shrimp Alfredo


1/2 to 1 lb of shimp, peeled and deveined(fresh or frozen, just make sure frozen shrimp are thawed)

2 tb butter OR olive oil

2 tb minced garlic

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

lime juice (about 2 limes or 4-6 tb)

2 tsp garlic salt

2 c pasta (I used a combo of mini penne and bowtie)

boiling pot of water

1 jar Bertolli or Classico alfredo sauce

1/4 c white wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay all work)**

1/4 c whipping cream or half n half

1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (for garnish/extra flavor--do not use the pre-grated kind that comes in a can; that has its place, but not in this dish)

**May be omitted, but won't be as tasty--be sure to increase the cream amount to make up for the lost liquid

Start by getting your water boiling for your pasta. While you wait for the water to boil, in a separate, larger pan, cook the minced garlic in the butter/oil on medium. Once that begins to get fragrant, add the shrimp, along with the Old Bay, most of the lime juice (reserve about 2 tb or 1/2 a lime), and 1 1/2 tsp of the garlic salt. Add the remaining garlic salt to the water for the pasta. Don't forget to add the pasta to the boiling water once it's boiling!

Depending on the size of your shrimp, they should take 3-6 minutes to cook, stirring occasionally. If you've never cooked shrimp before, you'll notice they go from a sort of shiny translucence to white opaqueness. Before the shrimp are completely cooked, add the wine, and then the jar of alfredo sauce.

The reason you do this before the shrimp are totally cooked is to keep from overcooking them. Overcooked shrimp are not as good. At this point, add the cream or half n half. You can add more or less cream called for if you want to change the thickness of the sauce. It will thicken more from here, but if you like a really thin sauce, you'll want to increase the amount cream/half n half.

Stir this up good. Check your pasta. It should be getting close to done. Turn the heat down to medium low on the shrimp/alfredo sauce. Now, you can either add your parmesan cheese, or you can reserve it to be a garnish. I like just mixing it in.

By now, your pasta should be done. If it's not, turn the shrimp alfredo to low and wait for the pasta to get finished. When the pasta is done, strain out the water, then add the pasta directly to the pan with the shrimp alfredo.

Add the remaining lime juice. Stir everything together. Dish out into bowls to serve. This should make 3-4 servings, depending on how much shrimp you used.

Om nom nom!

April 2014

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