Merry Christmas Eve to you all. I wanted to post this recipe because it is a part of the new tradition in my household.
Let me say this. Since I was a little girl, we always had a huge tradition of going to my grandmother’s and having Christmas Dinner and opening presents. She would make an incredible large dinner and we would eat until we had to roll ourselves home. But as she got older and as her Alzheimer’s progressed, the tradition changed. It was something that really hurt my heart because it was a sense of family that I really, really missed.
In the past 5 years or so (she passed a little over 3 years ago) we have done things a little different. Our new tradition is eating shrimp and grits for breakfast on Christmas morn. Before, a lady at our church made it and gave it to my mother as a gift. This year, she didn’t make us one and I decided to give it a go. The following recipe is a slightly adapted one from http://leitesculinaria.com/6249/recipes-shrimp-and-grits.html . I just added spinach and LOCAL shrimp.
Shrimp and grits is a local, Southern thing. If you don’t like grits, this recipe will change your mind, promise. If you’re allergic to shrimp, sorry, but maybe next recipe will be your thing.
Shrimp and Grits
1 cup instant grits (the previous said stone-ground, but this was quicker)
1/4 cup butter
2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (mine were local. I’m from the coast of NC. They will never be anything but local)
6 slices of bacon, chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained.
Make the shrimp part first. Go ahead and peel and devein it. Once you get it separated from its shell, it will look something like this:
Then fry up that bacon. Make it nice and crispy. Once its done, take it out to dry but do NOT drain the oil. You’re going to use that to cook the shrimp. The shrimp will take the yummy goodness from the bacon grease and pink right up. Only cook shrimp until they are pink (about 3 minutes). Don’t cook it longer because it will get tough. As soon as it’s cooked, immediately take it off the heat and add the lemon, garlic, and onion to it.
Set it aside. Then make the grits according to the package. Once the grits are complete, add the butter and the cheese. Warning: there will be A LOT of cheese!!! I mean, I really hope you like cheese because there is just a mountain of it.
Once you’ve mixed the grits, take a 8×8 pan (I used a bigger one to spread the grits out more) and place the cheesy grits in the bottom. Try to make them as even as possible so the ration of shrimp and grits is really nice. Squeeze the liquid from the spinach. Once you get all of the water off the spinach, spread it over the top of the grits evenly. The put the shrimp mixture on top of that. Tada! You now have shrimp and grits. You can pretty much add any type of veggie with the shrimp. Once you have everything layered. Crunch up the bacon and sprinkle it on top.
Enjoy and happy cooking!!! PS. Merry Christmas