Monday, August 30, 2010

Smoky Shrimp and Grits

A wise man* once said, "Instead of writing a post about how you've been too busy to update your blog, just delete your f'ing blog."  Ouch, but so very true as I sit here trying to think of what to say after a 3 month hiatus!  Is anyone actually reading these words?  Does anyone still care?  Well, if you've stuck around this long (and thanks to those of you who inquired whether I went on vacation and decided never to come back), here's an action packed update on my life since my last post:  Visited Indonesia. Bought a new house. Lived in an empty house in San Diego. Moved to DC/Virginia.  Flew the world's best dog across the country. Unpacked.  Spent good chunk o' money on knick knacks, new water heater and vanity for new house.  Finally started cooking again.


Shrimp Grits
Clearly the list goes on (and on and on), but I figure that's more than enough personal mumbo jumbo.  On to the good stuff!

Since moving I've attempted to embrace local cuisine - some of which I've never even seen before.  Grits may be a quintessential southern food that I fully admit that I've never even seen before, save a Paula Deen episode.  I spotted this recipe in the latest issue of Food and Wine and figured it'd be worth a shot.  If it's sinful enough for Paula, it's gotta be good, right?

Well, I'd say half of this household is still undecided about grits.  The shrimp, sauce and grits tasted amazing but the texture may be odd to those who are sensitive to well, mushy stuff.  Me?  I love it.  I'm sold.  California girl goes southern?  We'll see about that as I still miss sushi and fish tacos.  But, I'm gettin' there.  Be sure to use a flavorful, smoky paprika to add good flavor.  Otherwise, I thought the recipe was spot on.

Well, I can only hope that it will not be too long until I write again.  After a long hiatus from not only the blog, but from cooking as well I think I'm back in the swing of things. The new kitchen has taken some getting used to (more on that later...) but I think things are on the right track and am looking to purchase some extra storage - post to follow about the progress!

Smoky Shrimp and Grits
Recipe adapted from  Food and Wine

1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
Old Bay Seasoning
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup snipped chives
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine

1. Place shrimp in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning to taste. Toss & set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Gradually add the grits and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thick and porridge-like, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the cheddar cheese, baby spinach and chives; stir until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted. Cover the grits and keep warm.

2. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil with the garlic over high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and paprika, season with salt and black pepper and cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until the shrimp are white throughout and the garlic-paprika sauce is slightly reduced.

3. Spoon the grits into bowls, top with the shrimp and sauce; serve.

*Quote from Aaron Karo of Ruminations.  Funny, funny man.


Sasha said...

Shrimp and grits is one of the most delicious food pairings ever. I'm glad you're embracing the 'local' cuisine : )

Anonymous said...

looks delicious!

kat said...

A cross country move! Oh yeah that'll keep you away from the blog for a few months...

La Bella Cooks said...

Wow, you have definitely been busy but I am glad to see you posting again. The shrimp looks delicious.

grace said...

wowza! i'm glad you're back, and with such a comforting and delectable recipe. grits = love. :)

Aaron Karo said...

Awww, thanks! i think you should keep writing!

Esi said...

Wait..what?! You moved across the country and didn't inform us? Guess you'll have to make it back to SoCal once in a while for In N Out and other delicacies. The shrimp and grits sounds great and I'm not a super huge fan of southern cooking.

Katie said...

SO glad you're back!!

emiglia said...

Glad to see you're back! And I can't wait to read about your adventures in a new place...

Nirmala said...

Welcome back, and congrats on the new home. What a great dish.

Chris and Erica said...

Glad you are back, I have always enjoyed your recipes.

Dana Fallentine said...


vanillasugarblog said...

i care!!! i would miss you and your food if you left. you must stay, take all the time you need. lol
i love shrimp & grits but they get boring so i am SO GLAD you kicked them up to this. nice.

Kerstin said...

Glad you're back and congrats on the move and new house! Yummy recipe too :)

Aggie said...

Congrats on the move and your new life! missed your posts and your good cooking! :)

I too saw this recipe in F&W and have been thinking of it. I'm not a grit girl myself, but for some reason, after living in the "south" for so long I feel like I should try something like this! It looks delicious!!