Grits are one of those things that I’d heard about growing up but never tasted. My mom didn’t like them, so logically, we never really had grits around the house (although, she also hated lima beans but we still ate those).
So, when I finally did taste them, I had a “where have you been all my life?” moment.
Grits are basically ground corn. Native American in origin, they’re commonly eaten as a “porridge” type of breakfast food. (Is anyone else flashing to Goldilocks?) They’re also popular in Southern cooking. Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy.
All that to say, they’re delicious!
Grits come in different varieties. There are some quick-cooking versions and some that take a tad bit longer to cook. There are even “instant” varieties that cook in a minute or two in the microwave. They also come in flavors, like butter.
I tend to use the quick-cooking type, and I add my own butter, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese for a delicious warm breakfast dish.
I also love grits at other times of the day, like at dinner. I tried this recently and it was a huge hit in my house.
Southern Shrimp and Grits
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 oz)
Combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp mixture, broth and 1/4 cup green onions; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently.
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter and salt. Serve shrimp mixture over grits; sprinkle with cheese and remaining green onion.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 408, Fat: 13 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Protein: 33 g, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 2 g, Cholesterol: 246 mg, Iron: 5.1 mg, Sodium: 890 mg, Calcium: 154 mg