What Southerner doesn’t love shrimp and grits? This comforting meal is a Low Country classic, and we know creamy grits and shrimp to be a perfect pair. Leafing through the February issue of Cooking Light, I was immediately drawn to the Peppery Shrimp with Grits and Greens recipe because, at 550 calories a person, it boasts less fat and calories than the traditional dish.
You’ll love this dish because it’s a 10-ingredient dinner, and you probably already have at least five of the ingredients in your pantry. The recipe says it serves four, but I spread it even further by doubling the grits. As you can guess, the priciest part of this dish is the shrimp. I paid $9.99 per pound at the store— but let me tell you, it’s worth it! In total, the ingredients cost about $46, but because I fed five, each person ate for just over $9.00 each. That definitely beats any fancy seafood restaurant!
I started by cooking the grits. Less than one cup of quick-cooking grits didn’t seem like quite enough to serve four people, so I doubled the recipe. Shrimp has such a strong flavor that I tend to prefer two forkfuls of grits to every bite of shrimp anyway. The addition of milk and cheese made the grits extra creamy too. These thick, peppery grits are anything but bland and there were plenty to go around!
I kept the grits warm in the oven and started on the greens. The recipe calls for mustard greens, but I decided to go for a sturdier green veggie and bought a bunch of fresh asparagus instead. I cooked them the exact same way the recipe described for the mustard greens, and they were perfectly tender and delicious after three or four minutes.
I’ve never cooked shrimp before, so I followed the recipe exactly as written and was delighted to discover it was much easier than I had anticipated. After coating the shrimp completely in the honey-paprika glaze, I added the shrimp to the pan and cooked for several minutes on each side until perfectly pink.
Peppery Shrimp with Grits and Greens will be my new go-to recipe when I’m looking to impress guests. This meal looks so elegant, and it tastes even better. My family could not stop raving! The dominant word in the recipe is “peppery,” because this is indeed a robustly flavored dish. My only qualm is the grits were a little firmer than I prefer, although I think they hardened in the oven while I was prepping the greens and shrimp.
Making shrimp and grits was an encouragement that I can, in fact, #CookWithConfidence. Cooking shrimp is not as hard as it may seem, and the grits and greens are fairly self-explanatory. This exquisite meal is one I’ll be pulling out again and again.