Shrimp and Grits

 

For dinner tonight, I made tequila lime shrimp and cheesy jalapeño grits with sides of bruschetta and roasted broccoli. James and I forgot some stuff at my parents’ house last week, so we’re back in Barnegat this weekend. My best friend Jessie came to visit, and the three of us had lunch at Mud City Crab House. It’s an amazing seafood restaurant with a fish market located on the bay just before Long Beach Island. On our way out, I picked up some shrimp for dinner.

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For the shrimp, I used:

  • Two pounds of jumbo shrimp (for five people) peeled (save the shells) and deveined
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced
  • About two thirds of the tiniest bottle of tequila we could find
  • Juice from about one and a half or two lemons
  • Half a shallot, diced
  • A little salt and pepper

I sautéed the garlic and shallots in some olive oil until they were golden brown,  then tossed in the shrimp, which I had salted and peppered. I cooked them for just a few minutes, until they looked done, then added the tequila and lime juice. I let that cook down for a minute or two, then it was ready to serve.

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For the grits, I used:

  • All of the shells from the shrimp (rinsed off)
  • About eight cups of water (some of this will evaporate before the grits go in, and I also like my grits a little soupy and overcooked; you may want to use less water)
  • Two or three tablespoons of chicken Better than Bullion
  • A little less than two cups of grits (this is way more than you need for five people; I just like to have leftovers that I can eat with poached eggs for breakfast)
  • Half a stick of butter
  • A few handfuls of shredded cheese – I used a mix of colby and cheddar cheddar cheeses, but just cheddar would have been fine too
  • A few tablespoons of finely diced jalapeños

To get some extra flavor and keep the shells from going to waste, I started by boiling them in the water for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I removed the shells, added in the bullion and half the butter, and whisked in the grits. I cooked them on medium low, whisking frequently, until they thickened up and were the texture I wanted, which was probably between 20 and 30 minutes. At that point, I stirred in the butter and cheese until it melted, and then took the pot off the heat and added the jalapeños.

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For sides, I roasted broccoli at 375F degrees until crispy, then sprinkled on some lemon juice and zest. I made bruschetta by tossing some delicious local tomatoes, diced, with half a shallot, a clove or two of minced garlic, some fresh basil, and some balsamic reduction. I chilled it for a few hours, then served on toasted bread. Instead of rubbing the garlic on the bread in the traditional way, I minced up some garlic and let it soak in extra virgin olive oil, then brushed the oil and pieces of garlic onto the bread before toasting it.

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