Tonight, I'm making Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Grits, courtesy of the good people at EatingWell.com. I saw this interesting dish a month ago on an episode of my guilty pleasure show Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, when the chef-turned-author-turned-travel-food-guru visited New Orleans. Just today, this recipe was featured on Yahoo. I considered it fate.
As soon as I started whisking the grits into the water/broth mixture, I had flashbacks of the last few times I've made polenta. The first time that I made the Italian cornmeal, I spilled it in my roommate's shoe. The second time, it was so stiff that it barely came out of the saucepan. The third time... well, it just tasted horribly. I was a little scared it would happen again, but of course it didn't. Because I have roots in South Carolina, and grits -- no matter how infrequently I make it -- is an old friend.
When this recipe says 25 minutes, they're not lying. The grits thickened easily, and if you're dealing with fresh, raw shrimp, they cook within minutes under the broiler.
Generally, I do a lot of substitutions when I cook, not because I'm so avant-garde, but because I'm lousy at reading recipes thoroughly and always seem to be missing something mid-way through. Improvisation is always on the menu. This time, I didn't have scallions on hand, so I used some green onions that I had wrapped in tin foil at the bottom of the crisper. Not as zesty as it probably could have been it, but it worked.
Enjoy the recipe here.