A few months ago, I was watching Food TV (aka cartoons for grown ups) and watched Paula Deen drool over her version of shrimp and cheese grits. She made it seem so delicious that I knew I'd have to try it. Last night, I took a half pound of shrimp out of the freezer for tonights supper but hadn't decided how to cook it. As I was driving home from work, I was thinking maybe I'd make scampi, and in fact, thats what I told my cousin Ethel as we talked while I was driving. But then when I got home, it came to me: shrimp and cheese grits!
I knew I had some instant grits in the pantry and some sharp cheddar in the fridge. I didn't think I'd need more than that. So, I cooked the grits according to the package, but I used veggie broth instead of water (I used Vogue Veggie Base to make the broth) and no salt.
While I was waiting for the grits to cook, I finely chopped half an onion and sauteed it in 2 Tbs butter and 2 Tbs olive oil. Then I added about 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp of Bell's seafood seasoning, 1 tsp dried parsley, and the shrimp. When the shrimp turned pink, I tasted for salt - it needed just a pinch more - and drizzled about 1 Tbs of lemon juice over all. By then, the grits had thickened nicely, and I added 2 oz sharp cheddar per serving, using a whisk to stir well.
It took just a minute or so for the cheese to melt and then it was time to eat. I spooned out the grits into two bowls and topped with the shrimp and butter sauce. Dear daughter loved it, but that was because I told her it was polenta. Which it actually was. But she has not had happy experiences with southern style grits, so I told her it was cheese polenta and she was happy. I waited until she was half way through before I told her the truth! LOL! Mothers have to be devious sometimes!
This was surprisingly quick (15 minutes total), easy, tasy and FILLING. Oh yes, it is definitely filling. I don't think we'll need a snack later in the evening at ALL.
If you don't have grits, you can definitely use polenta, and once the little box of grits is used up, I won't replace it. I prefer the stronger corn flavor of polenta.