Betcha Can’t: Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Betcha Can’t make shrimp and grits that are the ultimate in (healthy) comfort food? Think again!
Nothing warms up a cold winter’s evening like a hearty meal. Of course, nothing contributes to what I affectionately call ‘winter thighs’ like a hearty meal. Enter a filling, satisfying, healthy version of shrimp and grits!
I have played with this recipe quite a bit over the last year and think it’s finally at the point of being blog worthy. I can’t take credit for the brilliant ‘secret ingredient’ that significantly ups the nutrition factor of this yummy meal (full credit goes to the man who has been at the center of my test kitchen for many years (and endured many a decidedly NOT blog worthy recipe)), my husband Paul.
This recipe is pretty simple (although you and your full tummy will have several pots and pans to clean in the end) and the ingredients easy to find in any grocery story. I have only had authentic southern shrimp and grits once (made by my beautiful Texan friend Jennifer), so I don’t claim that mine can compare in terms of authenticity, but who needs authenticity when you are tempted to lick the bowl after finishing the last bite?
Here are the essentials….shrimp, lemon, old bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, garlic, parsley, salt-free vegetable bullion, scallions, grits, 2% milk, and cauliflower….
…wha…what?! Yes…I…said….cauliflower…the secret ingredient. Turns out, pureed cauliflower is an awesome way to get a much larger helping of grits without all of the calories while also increasing the overall nutrition of the dish. Who doesn’t need more cruciferous veggies in their life (and a big ole helping of hot, creamy, yummy ‘grits’)?
I left cheese out of the grits, so I had to make them super flavorful by using a veggie bullion, fresh parsley and grated lemon peel. This recipe could be made gluten free (just be sure to get gluten free grits or polenta) and could easily be made dairy free by substituting the milk with water and omitting the butter (though the sauce for the shrimp may not thicken as much). (I’m not sure I would use soy milk due to its distinct flavor).
If you have left over grits, spoon out onto some plastic wrap, form into a thick log and refrigerate. Cut it into thick slices, saute until golden in a little olive oil, and serve for breakfast with a poached egg and some lightly sauteed greens.
© 2012 Nancy Granada Kindred Kitchen
Betcha Can’t: Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits
servings: 4 | time: about 40 mnutes
For the grits:
1 small head of organic cauliflower, stem removed and florets cut into large chunks
1/3 cup 2% milk (you could use fat free half and half if you wanted to eliminate a little fat)
2 cups Chicken Stock (prefer: low sodium)
1 cup water
1/3 cup grits or polenta
handful of chopped parsley
grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
For the shrimp:
2 TBSP. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP old bay seasoning
1 TBSP SALT FREE Cajun seasoning
1 cup water or dry wite wine
1 cup LOW SODIUM chicken or shrimp stock
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP unsalted butter
As many dashes of hot sauce as you like (I use 3-4)
6 jumbo shrimp per person, peeled, deveined and rinsed in cold water
handful of chopped scallions
For the “Grits”:
1. Cover the bottom of a large covered sauce pan with about 1/2 inch of water
2. Add the chopped cauliflower. Cover and steam over medium low heat until very tender (about 5 minutes)
3. Place the cooked cauliflower in a food processor and pulse just until its chopped. Turn the processor on high and drizzle in the milk until the mixture becomes very smooth but not runny (sort of like a really creamy mashed potato). Set aside
4. Meanwhile in another covered saucepan, bring the stock and water to a boil over medium heat
5. Add the grits, stir, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes (stirring frequently)
6. Remove grits from burner add the pureed cauliflower, parsley and grated lemon peel and blend to combine. Cover and set aside
For the Shrimp:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick sauce pan
2. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute
3. Add the spices, wine and stock and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes
4. Add the lemon juice, butter and hot sauce and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens
5. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on each side (don’t overcook…the shrimp will continue to cook when you set them aside to reheat the grits)
6. Remove from heat and sprinkle with scallions. Set aside
7. Re-heat the grits over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, adding a bit of very warm 2% milk if it gets too thick (the final product should be a creamy consistency, not sticky or thick)
Place a generous portion of the ‘grits’ in the center of a large shallow bowl. Arrange the shrimp on top and spoon with a bit of the sauce. YUM!
3 responses to “Betcha Can’t: Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits”