I have a running tally in my head of all the recipes I want to make…some day. Shrimp and grits
is was one of these recipes.
What surprises a lot of people about me is my memory. It’s non-existent, really. If I didn’t use post-its and email myself like it’s my job, I’d be in trouble. I even have electronic post-its on my computer. Currently, there are 4 notes…just on my home computer. I also have no less than 20 tabs open on my browser at all times. No joke. This is because I would forget tomorrow that I’m currently head over heels for Pinterest.
Some might argue that Pinterest then may not be that important. And while it probably isn’t, I do tend to forget things like… birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Perhaps that’s why my mom texted me this week, “May 13th is Mother’s Day…I’m free.” 😉
Shrimp and Grits – it was on my Bucket List of foods to make. For future reference, baklava, BBQ pork buns, and pumpkin pecan pie are, too. The fact that none of these recipes offer up any sort of healthfulness could be why they remain on my bucket list and not semi-permanently planted on my hips and thighs.
My favorite restaurant in Columbus, which ironically, is north of Columbus (I think the best of the best is often never where all the people are!), serves up some killer shrimp and grits. When I order it, I like to pretend I don’t taste the butter and heavy creamy. Of course, I know that’s what makes them the best. Unfortunate, but true.
Recently, I was killing time waiting for a meeting and somewhere found a Bon Appetit from last year. I started flipping through the pages and this recipe immediately jumped out at me. Not only was it unique (an egg!), but it seemed like a recipe I could “work with” in terms of lightening it up some.
I opted to use Cabot’s 50% reduced fat white cheddar and less fat in the recipe. I also used the only grits I could find – Quaker’s 5-minute grits. I adapted the recipe accordingly, and personally, I think they turned out great. Of course, I’m no grits connoisseur — I’d have to venture down to Oklahoma and ask my pals down there what they think 😉
I’m not sure what I love more about this recipe – the fact that it is ready in about 20 minutes, the fact that it’s almost as tasty as my favorite shrimp and grits, or the fact that I am capable of making it at home with far fewer calories and saturated fat.
I can cross this one off the bucket list – success! Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty about eating it on a somewhat regular basis 😉
Shrimp & Grits adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup 5-minute grits
1 cup (5 oz) 50% reduced fat sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1/4 cup half and half
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil
6 oz (~2 links) andouille sausage, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
Bring 3 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeno, and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and saute about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.
Spray the same large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and rewarm over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.
Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup grits, 1 1/2 ounces sausage, and about 5-6 shrimp)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 575 calories; 26.8 g. fat; 384 mg. cholesterol; 785 mg. sodium; 32.3 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 50 g. protein
Result: Lightened up shrimp and grits with an egg surprise…what’s not to love? This comes together quickly and is packed with protein – 50 grams! Though the broth isn’t “pretty”, the beer and broth sauce really makes this dish. Be sure not to over-cook the sausage or shrimp…the cooking time is very minimal. Enjoy!
This has been a crazy work week…teaching then meetings. I hope my run tonight doesn’t kick my butt as badly yesterday and the day before…