Cocktail Sauce


I recently bought some shrimp to make another batch of my (yummy) shrimp stew, and had about a dozen leftover, which immediately led to thoughts of devouring having shrimp cocktail. Then I realized, I didn’t have any cocktail sauce in the house, and figured I could just whip some up. After making this recipe, I probably won’t ever buy ready-made again! Oh, and I love that it takes about two minutes to make! Easy peasy!

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. chili sauce (I used Huy Fong chili garlic sauce since I had it on hand – original recipe calls for Heinz)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more if you want to increase the heat)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten-Barefoot Contessa

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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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Shrimp and Grits


This has quickly become one of my favorite southern dishes, as the combination of flavors mesh so amazingly well together. It is pure southern comfort on a plate! If you like shrimp, you will thoroughly enjoy this!

Pictured here with the addition of scallops

Ingredients

  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined, medium-size shrimp
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tsp canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • Cheese Grits

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes or until crisp.
  2. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tsp. drippings in skillet.
  3. Crumble bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle shrimp with salt & pepper; dredge through flour.
  5. Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings with oil in skillet for 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Add green onions, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add shrimp and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly browned.
  8. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice and hot sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until broth is thickened a bit, stirring to loosen particles on bottom of skillet.
  9. Spoon shrimp mixture over hot Cheese Grits & sprinkle with crumbled bacon pieces.

Recipe adapted from Bill Smith, Executive Chef at Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

57 Sauce Marinated Grilled Shrimp


A super simple marinade for grilling your shrimp! Makes a lovely appetizer or a great meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisky together Heinz 57 sauce, wine, oil, lemon juice and basil, until well mixed.
  2. Pour into resealable plastic storage bag. Add shrimp and seal tightly, turning until well coated.  Allow to marinate in refrigerator for up to 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat grill to medium.
  4. Remove shrimp from refrigerator, reserving the marinade and discarding the bag.
  5. Thread shrimp onto 4 skewers (metal or bamboo) and grill for 4 – 7 minutes, or until cooked through, turning often and basting with reserved marinade during the last 3 minutes of grilling.

Note: if you’re using bamboo skewers, let them soak in water for 30 minutes prior to grilling to avoid burning.

Hawaiian Shrimp Kabobs/Skewers


If you’ve seen some of my other recipes/posts, then you know that I thoroughly enjoy (okay, love) sauces that are on the sweet-side. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to have a spicy sauce or dish every now and again, and will post some recipes soon that have some fire, in hopes to try to please everyone’s taste buds. But, if you’re like me, and enjoy “Hawaiian-type” dishes, then you’re going to absolutely love this one!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (6 oz) pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 medium-size green, yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 lb raw large shrimp, peeled & deveined

Directions

  1. For the sauce, combine juice, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring frequently; set aside.
  2. Preheat broiler. Cut peppers and onions into 1″ squares, then thread peppers, onions, pineapple and shrimp onto 10 metal skewers (if using bamboo, make sure to soak them for 30 minutes to avoid burning). Place kabobs in large glass baking dish and brush reserved sauce over each kabob.
  3. Spray rack of broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray (or lay down a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil). Place kabobs on rack.
  4. Broil, 3-4″ from heat, for 4-5 minutes. Turn and brush with sauce.
  5. Broil another 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink & opaque (and to your desired donesness).