Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

I know what you are thinking - Grits? Who eats grits? I must admit, I did have some of the same thoughts running through my mind when I first saw this recipe. I just couldn't pass it up though. It had all of my favorite things - garlic, lemon, parmesan and shrimp. All of those ingredients are great on their own but together, they are even better. Then again, I think garlic makes everything better. I also think it's like candy. Ya, I am strange.

I don't recall exactly why I decided to make this one (it's been awhile since I made this), but if my memory serves me correctly, I was probably looking for something low in calorie, something that would be quick and easy to make after a long day at work and most importantly, something that tasted fantastic.  If that is what you are looking for as well, then don't go anywhere. This recipe is super, super (yes, two supers), fast and easy. I wouldn't joke about that. I hate those recipes that say it will take you 30 minutes to make and then you end up spending an hour or even more in the kitchen. I know you know what I'm talking about. Who has time for that after a long and hard day? I know I sure don't. If it's going to take two hours, you better tell me up front! Don't worry, I am not going to trick you - it seriously takes 15 minutes, if that.  Boil the grits and stir in the cheese. 5-8 minutes.  Cook shrimp. 5 minutes. See, told you it would be less than 15 minutes. If you don't believe me, you better try this yourself!

This great meal makes four generous portions and each comes in at just about 370 calories a serving. Can you believe it? I sure couldn't. The grits were creamy and the shrimp were full of flavor. And, I didn't over cook them! The only thing that would have made this better would have been a big squeeze of lemon over the top and big glass of pinot grigio. Ya, that would have been perfect.

just a few ingredients.

shrimp & grits station

boil those grits

mmm parm and a little butter (not much!)

shrimp are cooking and turning pink!

add in the parsley, lemon and more


Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits (courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com)

3/4 cup instant grits
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.

You wouldn't think that this would make for good leftover, but it really does. I took mine for lunch and had no major issues - the shrimp were fine and even though the grits really firmed up, I was okay with this. It reminded me of polenta! If you want to loosen them up, add in a splash of hot water and you should be good to go. Just be careful to not over heat the leftovers as the shrimp will cook more and get tough! Rubbery shrimp is a no-no.

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