I asked each of my girls to choose a recipe for me to make during the first week of school. Something that would give them something to look forward to at the end of the day. This was Grace's choice. :-)
I don't cook with grits very often just because they're a little higher in carbs and a little lower in nutrients than I prefer for every day meals. But sometimes a southern girl just needs some grits, and a little bit of a splurge was in order anyway after a successful first week of school in a whole new state. So: Shrimp and Grits! And what better way to enjoy them than with plenty of cheese and a little bit of bacon? I mean, really... If you're gonna do it, you might as well do it right!
3-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup half and half
1 cup grits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
splash of Sriracha (optional)
4-6 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms
2-3 green onions, sliced (save a small handful for garnish if desired)
1 can chopped green chiles
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
generous pinch (or two) coconut flour
generous pinch (or two) corn starch
freshly ground black pepper
Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste
salt to taste
1. Begin browning bacon pieces over medium heat.
2. Combine 3 cups chicken broth with half and half and 1/2 teaspoon salt in sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add grits and reduce heat to simmer. Stir often until they begin to thicken.
3. Sprinkle shrimp with coconut flour and corn starch, and season with salt, Tony Chachere's seasoning and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. (You don't need much flour or corn starch. This is not intended to be a batter, just a small bit of added texture for the shrimp and a thickening agent for the sauce which will be built from the pan drippings.)
4. Once bacon is fully browned and crisp, remove to paper towels to drain. Discard all but a thin pan coating of grease.
5. Add shrimp to bacon pan and cook over medium heat until mostly pink and almost done. Remove from pan.
6. Add mushrooms to bacon pan and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, green chiles and green onions and saute until fragrant. Pour in 1/2 cup chicken broth and use to deglaze pan. Increase heat slightly until mixture barely begins to boil. Reduce heat and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally.
7. Add cheeses, garlic paste and Sriracha (if desired) to grits.
8. Add shrimp back into pan with sauce and toss to coat and warm through.
9. Serve shrimp mixture over grits and top with bacon pieces and chopped green onions (if desired.)
***For the record, I'm planning to try this using finely processed cauliflower in place of the grits. My kids are skeptical, but I think I can make it work, which would mean we could eat this a little more often. ;-) I'll let y'all know how it goes.