A Modified Version of Shrimp and Grits


As you may, or may not know, I looooooooove shrimp and grits! While my earlier recipe on here is one of my all-time favorites, this one is simply delicious. I was watching The Chew on Friday, and Carla Hall made a dish called “Swamp Thing”, which was her healthier version of shrimp and grits. Once I saw it was loaded with vegetables, I was sold, and knew I had to try it, which I did later that day with a few small modifications. This recipe does take a little effort, as the grits need to be made about an hour beforehand, and there’s a decent amount of veggie chopping, but trust me when I say, it’s worth it! Thanks Carla!!!

Ingredients

Grits:

  • 1 cup Quick Grits
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Half & Half (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Olive oil (for frying grits)

Shrimp Stew

  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (medium diced)
  • 1 large carrot (medium diced)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • Half of a 14.5-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (crushed)
  • 2 cups collard greens (ribboned*)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (peeled and diced, or canned)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 parsnip (peeled and diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for pan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Grits

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, Half & Half, and corn to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in grits, avoiding lumps and cook according to package directions.
  3. Once cooked, whisk in butter and cheese (if using).
  4. Pour into greased baking dish, allow to cool, then place in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. At this point, you can start on the stew if you want & come back to step 6.
  6. Remove grits from fridge and cut into 3 inch squares (or desired size).
  7. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with olive oil.  Fry grits in hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove from pan.

Shrimp Stew

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, over high heat, add olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Toss in all the other vegetables except for the collard greens and crushed tomatoes, and add olive oil if it seems dry. Coat all the vegetables in oil and continue to cook over high heat, just slightly browning everything.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir. Deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the collard greens, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne, and stir.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Right before serving, toss in the shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through.
  7. Plate in a soup bowl on top of fried grits.  Season to taste.  Serve immediately.

* To ribbon the collard greens, take some leaves, place them on top of each other, roll them up long-way, and cut small pieces off of the ends. This will form long, thin pieces known as ribbons.

Note: If you don’t do shrimp/shellfish, you can definitely leave it out. Also, feel free to substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

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Crock Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup


Back in January, I came down with a bout of the flu, and had little to no energy, with not much of an appetite. But, knowing that I had to eat, I wanted something warm and comforting that would require minimal effort on my part. The first thing that came to mind, was my crock pot, and what naturally followed was soup. I’ve always been a fan of baked potato soup, although I had never made it before. I perused quite a few recipes online and  decided to adjust a couple that looked really tasty. The end result thoroughly pleased me, and definitely hit the spot!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen O’Brien diced hash brown potatoes
  • 1 carton (32-oz) Progresso® chicken broth
  • 1 bag (8 oz) shredded American-Cheddar cheese blend (2 cups), plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I use light)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup real bacon pieces (from 2.8-oz package)
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup) for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a skillet or microwave until crispy. Crumble & set half aside. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings to add to crock pot (optional, but recommended).
  2. Put all ingredients in slow cooker, except for green onions and half of bacon.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Garnish with bacon pieces, green onion and additional shredded cheese (and sour cream, if desired).

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Killer Shrimp – Don’t Be Scared


Here’s a spicy shrimp recipe served in a bowl and with bread for dipping. You may need a fire extinguisher.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs raw large shrimp (peeled & deveined)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce 
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350F.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer all ingredients (except shrimp) until well blended.
  3. Place sauce and shrimp in large shallow baking pan and bake approximately 10 minutes or until shrimp are opaque in center.
  4. Serve in bowls with crusty French bread for dipping.

Feeling Crabby? Great, soup’s on!


Here’s a simple, yummy recipe for Crab Bisque.

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onions (optional)
1 1/4 cup of milk (you can also use heavy cream for a thicker consistency)
1 can (4.75 oz) crabmeat
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Saute onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, set aside. In a sauce pan, stir the soups and milk together until blended well & smooth. Add the sautéed onions & rest of the ingredients and heat until steaming (do not boil).

I like mine with a bit of a “kick”, so add about 8 hearty dashes of hot sauce.