March 30, 2010

Shrimp & Cheesy Grits with Spinach

Mmmm, I love shrimp and grits. Especially grits with lots of cheese. And sauteed spinach with bacon and onions.... Oh, it makes my taste buds sing & my kitchen smell amazing. Yum! Beyond those highlights the recipe is quick, easy, fairly inexpensive, gluten-free & just pretty on your plate.

This recipe was developed mainly for two reasons - 1) As mentioned, I just love it. 2) It was a request of one of my facebook followers. (Follow me on facebook @ From My Tiny Kitchen)

Shrimp & Cheesy Grits with Spinach.

(The spinach is completely optional by the way. But, please, try it at least once. This isn't Popeye's spinach...but if you insist - cook exactly the same, bacon & everything, just don't add spinach.)

The key to making this a fast and easy meal is preparation! My directions will take you thru the steps of preparing your ingredients & then cooking.

  • Approx. 12 shrimp, thawed

  • 2 slices bacon

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 3 Tb onion, finely minced

  • 2 cups frozen spinach (If fresh use 4 cups leaves, they shrink!)

  • 6 Tb Quick-cooking grits

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 3 Tb cream cheese

  • 3 Tb butter or margarine

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Olive oil - maybe

  1. Gather all your ingredients and set out on your counter - this recipe moves quickly & it is easier if you have everything ready to go.

  2. Mince your garlic and onion. Cut bacon into bite-size chunks (I keep a package of bacon in the freezer; simply pull out, cut off a hunk and go! It cuts very easily frozen and allows me to add little bits of bacon for flavor, without having to cook a whole package at once.) Set aside.

  3. Prepare your shrimp. I prefer to buy fresh shrimp at the seafood counter - usually the skins are removed, tails intact, and they're de-veined. However, I had frozen shrimp on hand. Whatever the case - go ahead and make sure they are thawed, peeled, de-veined and ready to go! Have your shrimp on a separate plate than your other ingredients to help prevent cross-contamination.

Gather remaining ingredients and measuring utensils and get ready to go!!! I will go back & forth in an effort to explain how to multi-task cook to make for a quicker meal.

  1. Spinach: In a medium-large pan cook bacon, garlic and onion on med-low heat until bacon is cooked, but not crisp, and garlic & onions are soft.

  2. Grits: Combine water, milk, pinch salt and 2 Tb butter in large pot and bring to a soft boil.

  3. Spinach/ Shrimp: If pan is dry, add 2 Tb olive oil (my bacon was fairly lean.) Nestle shrimp in the bacon goodness - watch carefully. The key to shrimp is not over cooking. Once pink on one side, flip and cook till pink throughout. The second they are a lovely pink - remove from pan! (only the shrimp, leave the bacon/garlic/onions) Set aside.

  4. Grits: Once it reaches a boil add grits, turn heat down to a med-low and cover.

  5. Spinach: Add spinach to pan with bacon mixture. Salt and pepper just a little; keep at med-low heat and cover.

  6. Grits: Stir your grits - they thicken very quickly. When they start to thicken, remove from heat. Add 1 Tb butter, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese - stir until all is melted. Set aside. (Note that mozzarella cheese could be used instead.)

  7. Spinach: Check - putting on a lid will help trap heat and speed the wilting process. Stir well. If frozen, simply heat thru. If fresh, cook until spinach is completely soft and wilted.

  8. Layer on plate - I like spinach, grits, then shrimp :) and serve.

(Serves 2)

I hope I didn't make the process more complicated; I was hoping to demonstrate how each element of the dish could be prepared simultaneously, which gets you kitchen to eating much faster!

This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday & Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

post signature


the country cook said...

very interesting...I'm not sure how I feel about the shrimp being in the grits (I am wary of seafood...), but the bacon sounds awesome!

Melinda said...

Sounds amazing and you know I"m going to try it!

Sherry said...

Yummy! Sounds delish! When you started talking about Popeye, I started singing "I'm Popeye the sailor man" LOL! :D

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

Oh Wow this looks delicious. I must try it.