Sometimes you just have a craving for something different.  I was craving Shrimp and Grits.   Odd??   For me it was as I’m not a huge fan of grits.   Well that’s any other type of grits other than cheese grits because I’m a huge cheese head.     So I searched the internet for a recipe for cheese grits and found Alton Brown’s that had a 5 star rating.   I used his recipe as a guide but added 4 times the amount of cheese *hangs head* and added a few more spices cause as a West Indian we need more than just salt and pepper.    It was out of this world!!!!!  We all gobbled it up.   As for the shrimp, I fried it the in pancetta grease then finished it off with butter and the crispy pancetta bits.   Boy oh boy was it ever so tasty.    There was a little part of me that knew I shouldn’t be eating this butter and cheese laden dish but I ignored every bit of it.    I know this is a bit different from what I usually share on my blog, but I cook all types of foods on a daily basis.  If you follow me on Instagram at Jehancancook you will see the different meals that I prepare when I’m not blogging.   Why limit oneself?    I’ve lived in the South for the past 3 years where Shrimp and Grits is hugely popular and I’ve adapted  a few of the dishes, this being one.    Give it a try, you won’t regret it.  Until next time!

Shrimp and Grits

For the Grits

Adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups whole milk

2 cups water

1 cup coarse ground cornmeal (I used yellow cornmeal and not the traditional white grits)

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

2 cups sharp white cheddar

Place milk, water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.   Bring to a boil.  When milk is boiling, gradually add the cornmeal while whisking to prevent it from forming lumps.   Add garlic powder and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.  Next turn the heat down to low and cover.   Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to prevent lumps (make sure to stir in the corners also).    When grits are thick and creamy, remove from heat and add butter and black pepper.  Once butter is incorporated, add the cheese and mix until melted.  Serve immediately.

For the Shrimp

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Juice of 1 half lemon

2 sprigs thyme leaves removed and finely chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1/3 cup chopped pancetta or 4 slices of bacon chopped

2 scallion, finely chopped

1 tbsp parsley, coarsely chopped

Place shrimp in a large bowl with lemon juice and allow to sit for 3 minutes.  Rinse, then add thyme, red pepper flakes, crushed garlic, salt and scallion then set aside.  In frying pan add pancetta (or bacon) and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan making sure to leave the drippings behind.  If using fatty bacon, remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.    Set pancetta aside.  Add shrimp to the frying pan and stir fry for 3-5 minutes until it is pink.   Add butter and cook for an additional 2 minutes.    Remove from heat then garnish with parsley.   Serve over the warm grits.