Barbecued Shrimp with Cheese Grits

Mmmmm, mmm.

This little recipe has been kicking around my recipe box unmade (just filed away) for, I kid you not, over 3 years. I finally made it and well, I’m a little bummed I waited this long. The original recipe contains a barbecue sauce but – being from an area that produces many tasty sauces – I used some from the fridge. Namely, Mr. Bacon’s Rock Chalk Red, which is tomato-y and sweet with a hint of heat. Pretty much perfect to contrast the rich, cheesy grits.

The best part: you can have it all finished up in about half an hour, basically the time it takes to whip up the grits. I served it with some leftover steamed veggies from dinner the evening before (thank god for microwaves) and voila! Quick yummy dinner!

Barbecued Shrimp with Cheese Grits
(from Food & Wine, April 2008)

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. old-fashioned grits (aka: polenta)
4-6 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (one-and-a-half to two-ish cups)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs. peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4-1/2 c. barbecue sauce of choice

To make the grits:
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

To make the shrimp:
Preheat a grill pan. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and brush on both sides with the 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce. Grease the grill pan with the oil. Grill the shrimp over moderate heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to plates and serve with cheese grits and the remaining barbecue sauce. Fall over and die after eating because hellloooooo, yummy.


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