Shrimp and Grits (And Greens)

From the Low Country to Louisiana, everyone has their own take on how to make shrimp and grits. My own tastes fluctuate when I make this dish, from cooking the shrimp in bacon fat to making the grits more cheese than coarsely ground meal.

But it’s Lent, and that means no meat on Fridays. Living near the Gulf of Mexico does tend to render Lenten restrictions on diet fairly moot, because we’re surrounded by a bounty of pescetarian options. Here’s my take on a slightly healthier shrimp and grits – just adjust your recipe for scale.

Shrimp and Grits (And Greens)

(serves 4)

1.5-2 lbs. shrimp (medium to large), peeled and deveined
8 oz. collard or mustard greens, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
.25 cup of parsley, finely chopped
1 cup yellow grits
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1.5 cup shredded sharp cheddar or munster
1 T crushed red pepper (or to taste – I have a high threshold for spice, but let your tastebuds be your guide)
1-2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, boil the milk and water, with a pinch of salt. Add the grits and reduce heat, whisking carefully. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Add 1 T olive oil to a hot skillet, and swirl to coat. Add garlic and collards and saute for 1-2 minutes, Remove the mixture from the pan, and add the tomatoes. Blister the tomatoes slightly, and add to the greens mixture.

Add a bit more oil to the pan, and saute the shrimp, seasoning with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat, and add tomatoes and greens back to the skillet, along with the parsley – toss to mix and coat, and remove from heat.

Spoon grits onto a plate, and top with the shrimp mixture.

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